Why are some more concerned with sexual fidelity and others with emotional fidelity?
As the scientists reported on-line in the journal Psychological Science this week, avoidant types—those who prize their autonomy in relationships over commitment—were much more upset about sexual infidelity than emotional infidelity. And conversely, emotionally secure volunteers—including secure men—were much more likely to find emotional betrayal more upsetting. But here’s the interesting twist. Just like all the earlier studies, Levy and Kelly found clear evidence of a gender difference in jealousy style. In other words, men are indeed preoccupied with sexual betrayal, and women the reverse, but not for the reasons we thought. Men fret about sexual betrayal because they are overly invested in the sexual side of their own relationships—and that superficiality is linked to their thin personal attachments. Not to put too fine a point on it, male jealousy is shaped by deep emotional insecurities.
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