Men don’t mind girlfriends sleeping with other women

January 28th, 2011 - 6:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 28 (IANS) Men are more than twice as likely to continue dating a girlfriend who has cheated on them with another woman than one who has cheated with another man, says a new study.

Conversely, women are more likely to continue dating a man who has had a heterosexual affair than one who has had a homosexual affair.

The study provides new insight into the psychological motivation behind men’s desire for a variety of partners and women’s desire for a committed partner, the journal Personality and Individual Differences reports.

“A robust jealousy mechanism is activated in men and women by different types of cues
- those that threaten paternity in men and those that threaten abandonment in women,” says Jaime C. Confer, the study’s lead author and a doctoral candidate in evolutionary psychology at the University of Texas in the US.

Confer conducted the study with her father, Mark D. Cloud, a psychology professor at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania.

The researchers asked 700 college students to imagine they were in a committed romantic and sexual relationship with someone they’ve been dating for three months, according to a Texas statement.

They were then asked how they would respond to infidelity committed by the imagined partner.

Some participants were told their partners had been unfaithful with a man, others with a woman. Some were told their partners had an affair with one person, others with multiple partners. Some were told the infidelity happened once, others twice.

Regardless of the number of episodes or partners, the study found that: Overall, men demonstrated a 50 percent likelihood of continuing to date a partner who has had a homosexual affair and a 22 percent likelihood of staying with a woman after a heterosexual affair.

Women demonstrated a 28 percent likelihood of continuing to date a boyfriend who has had a heterosexual affair and a 21 percent likelihood of staying with someone who has had a homosexual affair.

The findings suggest men are more distressed by the type of infidelity that could threaten their paternity of offspring.

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