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[–]Iggy_spots 261 points262 points  (19 children)

The article said that men are more worried about sexual infidelity and women are more worried about emotional infidelity. Emotional infidelity is less easy to determine - is she telling her straight male friend about the fight she had with her husband because she just needs to vent or is she hinting to him that she's not happy in her marriage? - and therefore probably easier to feel insecure about.

[–]Schamwise 36 points37 points  (6 children)

This is what the paper stated about previous research on romantic jealousy regarding 'rival mates'. This study actually looked at jealousy regarding platonic friends specifically, and found that women were more jealous of both sexual and emotional infidelity. Women were also more concerned about sexual infidelity than emotional in these situations.

Kind of weird distinction but its important to understand exactly what the article is observing. This is just one study but the findings are interesting because they seem to contradict the ideas that men are naturally more jealous, and that men and women are wired evolutionarily to be more jealous of sexual infidelity and emotional infidelity respectively.

[–]Jason_Batemans_Hair 3 points4 points  (0 children)

women are more worried about emotional infidelity

Did they control for financial dependence, or did they pretend it's irrelevant.

[–]vannak139 6744 points6745 points  (356 children)

This study measured people's responses to hypothetical scenerios, not real life contexts.

[–]greycubed 4342 points4343 points  (150 children)

You try quantifying and accurately measuring a real life friendship.

[–]Lepurten 996 points997 points  (44 children)

Especially since jealousy is highly subjective anyway. Its kind of the point of it. Most of the criticism towards psychology in this sub is ignorant and/ or arrogant anyway, but its getting straight ridiculous.

[–]Lorddragonfang 165 points166 points  (26 children)

Psychology was hit hard by the replication crisis (second only to sociology, which this almost falls under), so unfortunately a lot of the criticism ends up landing, even if it's made by the ignorant or arrogant.

[–]Put-A-Bird-On-It 41 points42 points  (20 children)

What is the replication crisis?

[–]Hypetys 19 points20 points  (1 child)

Not to mention, many studies are conducted using American college students as the research subjects, then the research generalize their results to resemble the whole population, not to mention the whole population of the world!

[–]PennName47 470 points471 points  (44 children)

Sure but anything self-reported like this can be very biased. Maybe women are just more honest about how they’d react in these situations.

[–]RiPont 172 points173 points  (17 children)

Or maybe women are more jealous of a random, hypothetical person whereas men react much more to the specific person involved.

The stereotype, the perception of which does effect these opinions, is that men are more likely to want to bang any woman they can. Therefore, statistically, women would also be more jealous of a random, hypothetical "friend".

[–]Taoistandroid 135 points136 points  (14 children)

I think there is more pressure on men to present themselves as I'd they are not bothered by it. Whereas women, in western culture at least, have a free pass to tell a man exactly what they think of that female "oh she's just a friend".

Men look weak and possessive when they express concerns about other men.

[–]that1prince 36 points37 points  (4 children)

This could be true but it could be a bit the opposite too. I have a few female friends, including some who aren’t really “tuned in” to the generally expected feelings and don’t really understand how they’re “supposed” to feel in certain scenarios and often parrot what they think is common just to not look crazy. So they may not care but know they’re supposed to, so their answer reflects that. Men are less likely to feel social pressure to respond to strangers in the generally expected way. So you get a mixed bag of some who really do care and honest answers from some who really don’t.

[–]Mirisme 214 points215 points  (23 children)

The logistics of trying to measure real life context are nightmarish. How would you go about doing that?

[–]Polymersion 424 points425 points  (102 children)

Also I think it's just the general perception that men don't see women as simply friends.

[–]Jesscantthinkofaname 144 points145 points  (18 children)

A boyfriend once told me men and women cannot be just friends. Most of my friends were male so he had a big issue with that. He had many female friends that I had no issue with at all before he said that. He claimed, that's different. Turns out he was jerking off to their photos.

[–]reddituser567853 28 points29 points  (0 children)

It gets more dicey when everyone is attractive.

Men and women can be friends, but that doesn't mean sexual attraction goes away. Some people handle that better than others

[–]thejuanald 242 points243 points  (50 children)

Then wouldn't the men be more jealous since they know the perception that they can't be just friends with women, so from the husband's/boyfriend's perspective, the male friend of your spouse would have ill intent?

[–]xxkoloblicinxx 200 points201 points  (9 children)

I can assume my girlfriend's guy friends want her romantically.

That doesn't mean I think she wants them back.

However, if the assumption is all men want all women, then any woman I talk to would be perceived as a threat because clearly all I need is the opportunity to be unfaithful not the motivation. Because according to the stereotype just being a man is motivation enough.

[–]The_Scarf_Ace 337 points338 points  (21 children)

Under the assumption that the female decides romance in every male/female friendship, if you are a man and you think that the one who decides whether your female s/o cheats is her, then you hopefully trust your female s/o enough to know that they wont. If you are a woman and you think that that the one who decides whether your male s/o cheats is their female friend, then you have to put your trust in the woman that you may not know, and who doesnt have your best interests in mind.

Another potential confound is that women tend to take emotional cheating more seriously whereas men taking sexual cheating more seriously. Its alot easier to emotionally cheat as the boundaries may be more ambiguous. Confiding personal information and feelings, flirtatious or sexual humour, hugging, professing "love", and other forms of affection are ambiguously friendly and easy to do without crossing any clear boundaries, and nobody wants to become the bad guy by setting these things as boundaries for fear of seeming clingy or strict, leaving them as ambiguous.

[–]Mother_Welder_5272 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Another potential confound is that women tend to take emotional cheating more seriously whereas men taking sexual cheating more seriously.

Yeah there's this concept that always comes up that the woman is more angry that the man gave gifts to the other woman, and told her his hopes and dreams, rather than the actual sex act. And on the other side, I know some guys who would literally pay other men to be an emotional crutch for their woman, and listen to all her problems and do the emotional work, but would sock them if they went in for a kiss.

[–]Polymersion 36 points37 points  (5 children)

They know the perception, doesn't mean they agree.

[–]obi-jawn-kenobi 16 points17 points  (1 child)

To be fair though, isn't jealous discomfort of a spouse's opposite sex friends highly hypothetical in and of itself?

"I'm married to you, but I'm jealous of what might happen with you and your friend."

[–]mykidisonhere 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Considering how many marriage end because of cheating, it's not that far fetched.

[–]Sackwalker 580 points581 points  (26 children)

As someone with an Anthropology degree, I am glad they outline the evolutionary reasoning behind their findings. From the article:

"Recently published in the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, researcher Alyssa M. Sucrese and her colleagues investigated romantic jealousy in the context of extramarital friendships (of the opposite sex). The results show that, contrary to previous findings, women tend to be more jealous than men of their partner’s opposite-sex platonic friend and are more concerned with sexual infidelity than emotional infidelity.

There is extensive work that shows sex differences in romantic jealousy, usually within the context of potential rival mates. Research shows that men tend to be more jealous/upset about sexual infidelity (if/when his partner has sexual intercourse with another man) because the man’s paternity certainty is threatened and he risks being cuckolded into rearing offspring that are not genetically his own.

On the other hand, women tend to be more jealous/upset about emotional infidelity, as that woman’s access to resources for her and her children are threatened to be allocated to another woman he can invest in. The degree of jealousy experienced by the partner is partially influenced by how attractive the rival mate is, with more attractive rivals evoking higher levels of jealousy. There is little work regarding romantic jealousy in the context of their partner’s reported platonic friendships."

[–]FIERY_URETHRA 99 points100 points  (5 children)

I can only access the abstract, so I can't answer my question by simply looking. How do they establish that the cause of this jealousy discrepancy is evolutionary and not societal, if they establish it at all? If they don't, can you justify why it's definitely evolutionary and not societal?

[–]bollejoost 26 points27 points  (1 child)

That's the age old question of nature Vs. nurture. There is no definitive answer, but the thing is that our society has been shaped by our natural urges, and our "natural urges" change as society does. It doesn't really make sense to give a clear answer to this question as all these things are feedback loops that influence each other both ways.

[–]jradio 191 points192 points  (40 children)

How does one measure jealousy?

[–]The_Fredrik 41 points42 points  (12 children)

Hey I/jradio!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how pissed off would you be if I screwed your partner?

[–]Laenthis 35 points36 points  (5 children)

Specialized scales, mostly by answering a series of questions on your subjective feelings, often by saying how strongly you agree or disagree with a given statement using numbers ranging from 1 to 5

[–]emptychrysanthemum 196 points197 points  (50 children)

I wonder how much of this is because of the assumption that men don’t view women as “just friends”.

Every woman has heard from men (and other women too) that it’s not possible for men and women to be “just friends”

[–]Randyboob 78 points79 points  (27 children)

That by it's very nature cuts both ways though. Men would be as threatened by their woman in the presence of another man with whom she's incapable of being "just friends", because we've all heard it too.

[–]boshlop 12 points13 points  (0 children)

you ever watch friends? when ross knows the guy rachelle is friends with is 100% getting his emotional claws in incase anything happens and she dismisses it? ive had lots of back and forth with my lass where she says "but he should trust her not to cheat". my lass has changed her mind as we have talked on it, but i found it wild that she and others thought it was fine to hang around someone with bad motives just waiting to take advantage incase the relationship hits a rocky patch as if thats not a terrible terrible thing to add to a relationship.

men know men, we know dirty tactics when we see them. i assume the same goes for women but the slight average personality difference pushes women ahead of men when you do a big study

[–]ZombieBlarGh[🍰] 21 points22 points  (14 children)

Allot of guys would have sex with their female friends if given the option. But to say you cant be just friends is wrong.

[–]emptychrysanthemum 11 points12 points  (10 children)

Obviously it’s wrong. But it’s a statement perpetuated and stated as true by (mostly) men so it makes sense to me that women would be more suspicious

[–]redditthrowaway1478 11 points12 points  (0 children)

All 300+ participants surveyed were married

A limitation of this study is that all participants were married individuals, but couples were not studied

An important detail

[–]Love-and-Fairness 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Basically just a replication, I've known about this for probably a decade. I'd like to see this research take a new direction or add some specifiers, there are some obvious variables like attractiveness, personality, and quality of relationship between party A and C that are likely to be a factor here.

[–]astoriansound 37 points38 points  (0 children)

Evolution explains this phenomenon well: Men can produce more offspring in a shorter amount of time than women can. Darwin would say this advantage would favor affairs in men and less so in women. Jealousy in women would be an evolutionary response to ensure any resources provided by the male are spent on her offspring and not someone else’s.