What Would Make You More Jealous? If Your Partner Sexually Cheated Or Emotionally Cheated?

Jealousy is an example of an evolved psychological mechanism that humans today now have.

But because of how both males and females evolved, we don’t necessarily experience jealousy in the same way.

Look at males for example. Because pregnancy in humans occurs inside the female’s body, males can never be certain that they’re the father of their mates child, while females are always certain that they’re the mother.

This means that the possibility of raising children who are not genetically their own exists only for men.

In fact, anywhere from 1 out of 10 to 1 out of 3 children are raised by men who are unrelated to them genetically.

For this reason, men have a strong evolutionary reason to be sexually jealous, while women, who always know that they’re the mother, do not.

This psychological mechanism will lead men to guard their mates in order to minimize the possibility of their mates having sexual contact with other men.

This helps men ensure that they will raise children who are genetically their own and therefore be certain that they have successfully passed on their genes.

For this reason, men have adapted to feel sexually jealous, which means that it’s natural to feel jealous. It’s okay to feel jealous. The problem with jealousy however is when you take it to an extreme, which can sometimes lead to violence and vigilance.

And although most research on jealousy has really been focused on male sexual jealousy, women however also get jealous, but for an entirely different reason than men do.

Men become jealous of their mate’s sexual infidelity with other men, while women become jealous of their mates emotional involvement with other women.

This is because our female ancestors who could find a mate were more likely to survive than those who couldn’t.

Mates when found meant that they had to be kept.

If you lost a mate to someone else, it was harder to survive so females adapted to feel emotionally jealous in order to prevent that.

In the book “The Evolution of Desire,” Dr. David M. Buss says,

“In a study of sex differences in jealousy, my colleagues and I asked 511 college men and women to compare two distressing events – if their partner had sexual intercourse with someone else and if their partner formed a deep emotional attachment to someone else. Fully 83 percent of the women found their partner’s emotional infidelity more upsetting, whereas only 40 percent of the men did. In contrast, 60 percent of the men experienced their partner’s sexual infidelity as more upsetting, whereas only 17 percent of the women did.”

Studies have shown that given specific circumstances, both men and women will experience feeling jealous.

Feeling jealous is okay because it’s natural to feel jealous, but in the same way that we don’t consciously decide to like sweets or not, we also don’t consciously choose to feel jealous.

The best we can do is not let jealousy get the better of us.

If you’re not careful with this, then jealousy could stop you from feeling as happy as you could be in your romantic relationship. Or even worse, it could ruin your romantic relationship.


8 thoughts on “What Would Make You More Jealous? If Your Partner Sexually Cheated Or Emotionally Cheated?

  1. I read your post and I agree with the last part. Jealousy can’t get the best of us otherwise we can’t reach happiness and what is a relationship without happiness? 🙂
    I don’t get a few things though: a woman does not know who the father is if she slept with two men. How can she possibly know?
    1 out of 10/0f 3 child grown by unrelated parents is a huge generalisation because there are a lot of different reasons for that. Is there a way to have a better statistics or a more specific definition? Otherwise the % of the specific topic may be a fraction of it.
    In the past the man wasn’t needed to be faithful as much as the woman (who on the contrary when is pregnant can’t really hide infidelity). This can change all the author hypothesis, how does he explain this? 🙂
    What is the definition the author gives to “jealousy” exactly?
    It’s really interesting the explanation of women jealousy. It’s important to see the evolutionary elements that made them this way, although nowadays it’s quite a different pattern we see.
    Modern studies shows the discrimen between man and woman affection being them as this author said, are much less polarized (meaning less neat, less clean), so both men and women are feeling the same way jealous. Of course the myth of the woman emotionally more involved is going toward a different kind of future where the men could get in contact with their natural emotional core. Some say that’s negative for evolution. I’m not that sure right now, as I don’t have the big picture in mind, but I saw in clinical experience that usually it’s true that women are closer to get jealous for emotional attachment more than men. But I felt quite all the men I treated to feel the same way. So this study makes me wonder and I’d love if you can give me some more information about it as it’s really interesting! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Luca! I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear about this so let me try to answer each question of yours. Let me know if still doesn’t make sense after.

      So in biology success is based on whether or not you have successfully passed on your genes or not.

      And the term used to define men who raise children who are not genetically their own is called cuckoldry.

      A man is cuckolded when his wife has an affair with someone, has a child with that person, and successfully passes off the child as the husband’s.

      So because of this, men have evolved the psychological tendency of sexual jealousy in order to prevent the possibility of cuckoldry.

      This is why men will often times try to guard their mates from other men.

      But why don’t women get sexually jealous as much?

      Because exactly like I said, because pregnancy in humans occurs inside the female’s body, males can never be certain that they’re the father of their mates child, while females are always certain that they’re the mother.

      It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t know who the father is. The point is that when she has a child, she always knows that she’s the mother, while the father can never be certain that he’s the father.

      So the father can never fully know whether his wife/girlfriend has remained loyal to him unless he takes a DNA test to confirm he’s the father.

      But because the woman was biologically successful in reproducing and passing on her genes, women never had to develop the psychological adaptation of being sexually jealous.

      In the post I said, anywhere from 1 out of 10, to 1 out of 3 children are raised by men who are not genetically their own.

      This doesn’t include the situation where parents adopt a child. This isn’t what it means when it says 1 out of 10 children are raised by fathers who are unrelated to them genetically.

      This statistic is talking about men who have been cuckolded.

      According to one estimate, about 13-20 percent of children in the US and 9-17 percent of children in Germany are not the genetic offspring of the father.

      In Mexico, it’s about 10-14%

      In the UK and France, it ranges from 10-30%

      I agree that these stats could all be wrong and the number could be lower, but I guess we would have to figure out our own study and try to disprove each of their studies.

      In your comment, you also said that pregnant women wouldn’t be able to hide infidelity.

      But if you and your wife never had sex before and she’s pregnant then obviously she cheated on you.

      But if you and your wife have a healthy sex life and she cheats on you and becomes pregnant then she can definitely hide her infidelity by just pretending that it’s your kid, aka cuckolding you.

      In the last part of your comment, I think that you said that you would get more emotionally jealous than sexually jealous? If so, then it’s very likely that you’re just part of the 40% which wouldn’t be hard to believe. If you ask enough men though, more men should say they would get more sexually jealous though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for taking time to reply!!! Of course this theory is really interesting. You clarified perfectly about the “mother question” I asked you, I didn’t understood the text before, I’m sorry, now it makes perfect sense eheh…
        About the last question I don’t speak about myself, I was talking about my patients as sexuologist and relationship therapist, so I was talking professionally. I myself have been jealous as everyone else, i got over it a while ago, and now I teach people how can be free from jealousy, that’s why I was very interested by your post, but this is not about me. 🙂 You talk about the numbers 83% womens Vs 40% men). Big problem about college students based studies (they are the only real numbers I see, so they’re the only ones I can refer too, I can’t really want to make an opinion about anything I can’t study directly by raw numbers, so just take my words as impersonal and aseptic questions… I talk to you because I think your posts are good, not to criticize :)) is that it’s not representative of the general population. Age is an important variable that affects a lot psy studies. Although college students may be grown enough to represent the general population well, they don’t represent the variability and different stages of psychological development and cultural adaptations. That was the data that gave me some problems to understand this theory scientific validity to generalize it to the general population and not only to students for instance as it should be. (I’m leaving aside of course my professional experience which in fact can’t be taken as a proof of anything, although I couldn’t see traces of this differences so clear between man and women.)
        It’s true we should make our own studies about that anyway, it is the only way we could be sure that talking about these matters we’re not just repeating someone’s interpretations of numbers.
        It’s really interesting your way of seeing things and of writing, you seem to use always the right distance to what you say. What studies did you do? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. that’s fair. healthy skepticism is a good thing:)

        And I’m currently studying marketing, but I read a lot of books on science and psychology as well so every now and then I’ll write about an idea from those books.

        And thank you Luca:) Always great conversations with you:)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Nice, you are good in communicating and yes I can feel that healthy skepticism I find refreshing in a world where everyone stick to his belief all his live long without putting it through a test. So thank you for the conversation, you’re one of the few I really like taking time to exchange thoughts and not only words 😉 Have a great day!

        Liked by 1 person

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