Which type of cheating is worse, sexual or emotional? It depends who you’re asking — more specifically, what gender you’re asking.
A new study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology set out to determine how people feel about the two types of infidelity.
Researchers from Kansas State University recruited 477 adults — 238 men and 239 women — and asked them to fill out several questionnaires on a variety of topics, including relationships and cheating. One such question was, “Which would distress you more: Imagining your partner enjoying passionate sexual intercourse with another person or imagining your partner forming a deep emotional attachment with another person?”
After analyzing the results, researchers came to a very clear conclusion: “Males reported that sexual infidelity scenarios were relatively more distressing than emotional infidelity scenarios, and the opposite was true of
females,” they wrote in the study.
Interestingly, the purpose of the study was to determine which factors — be it attachment style, feelings of trust, relationship habits, etc. — would lead someone to feel one way or the other about cheating. But at the end of the study, researches discovered that the only factor that played a role was gender. Men were most upset by physical cheating and women were more upset by emotional cheating — end of story.
What do you think: Can it really be so black and white?
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Having an affair is one of the most immoral things you can do, according to a new Gallup poll. A survey of 1,535 American adults found that 91 percent considered extramarital infidelity to be morally wrong, a higher percentage than objected to human cloning, suicide, and polygamy. As The Atlantic discussed the new findings: “The poll aside, it’s difficult to think of any other relatively common and technically legal (adulterous affairs are no longer subject to criminal sanction) practice of which more of us disapprove.
“While this same poll showed growing acceptance of divorce, pre-marital sex, and having babies out of wedlock, the 91 percent disapproval rate for cheating is nearly twice what it was 40 years ago, when similar surveys showed that only half of American adults believed that having an affair was always wrong. As political scientist John Sidesnotes in a recent detailed analysis of changing attitudes towards adultery, “Americans, and especially better educated Americans, have become less accepting of adultery with the passage of time.” Pointing out the simultaneously growing acceptance for ending an unhappy union, Sides summarizes what he sees as our contemporary attitude: “If you’re in an unhappy marriage, don’t cheat. Just get divorced.” Continue reading “Americans think infidelity is worse than … anything”
“Spectators will try to make this scandal about many things: the arrogance of powerful men; conniving mistresses; the silent epidemic of sexual assault in the armed services. But these explanations obscure an underlying problem: the devastating influence of an open-ended war — now in its 11th year — on the families of U.S. service members.” This, from military spouse Rebecca Sinclair in today’s Washington Post. The story entitled “When the Strains of War Lead to Infidelity” continues:
“Rebecca Sinclair is married to Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, a former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan, who is being tried at Fort Bragg, N.C., on charges including adultery and sexual misconduct.
“Like most Americans, I’ve been unable to escape the current news cycle regarding several high-ranking military generals entangled in sex scandals. Unlike most Americans, however, for me the topic is personal. My husband, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, is one of the officers.
“Let me first address the elephant in the room. My husband had an affair. He violated our marriage vows and hurt me tremendously. Jeff and I are working on our marriage, but that’s our business.
“Jeff also needs to answer to the Army. That is his business, not mine, and he accepts that. I believe in and support him as much as ever.
“I wish I could say that my husband was the only officer or soldier who has been unfaithful. Since 2001, the stress of war has led many service members to engage in tremendously self-destructive behavior. The officer corps is plagued by leaders abandoning their families and forging new beginnings with other men and women. And many wives know about their husbands’ infidelity but stay silent.”