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category: Key figures
Men are more willing to tolerate infidelity is it is with another woman
Half of the surveyed men in an American study are ready to forgive their girlfriend’s indiscretion if it involves another woman. Women, however, are less likely to forgive their male partner if they cheat on them with another man, according to the University of Texas psychologists who conducted the study.
In a recent study, psychology researchers at the University of Texas asked 718 students to imagine various scenarios featuring their long-term and committed significant others cheating on them.
50% of the men said that they would carry on in a relationship with a woman who has had a fling with another woman, while only 22% said they would be willing to forgive an indiscretion with another man. For women, results differ: 28% of them answered that they would stay with their boyfriend if he cheated on them with another woman, while only 22% were willing to forgive a fling with another man.
Jaime Confer, the evolutionary psychology postgraduate student who conducted this study, concludes that the participants’ reactions were most fundamentally grounded in basic jealousy instincts: “A robust jealousy mechanism is activated in men and women by different kinds of signals: those threatening paternity for men, and those suggesting the possibility of abandonment for women.”
According to the authors of the study, men feel less threatened by a female rival on account of the latter’s incapacity to father a child with their girlfriend, but also because they see their girlfriend’s same-sex affair as “an opportunity to mate with more than one woman at the same time”. Cases of same-sex infidelity which the researchers asked the volunteers to imagine being very rare, questions pertaining to real affairs were asked. The results? Men tend to tolerate infidelity to a lesser extent than women, and are more likely to put an end to relationships on account of affairs.