Science Explains Why Men and Women Experience Jealousy Differently

Researchers David Frederick of Chapman University and Melisa Fales of UCLA recently conducted a study to prove the hypothesis that men experience more sexual jealousy than women, whether or not an emotional connection was present or not. On the other hand, it also proves that women experience more emotional jealousy than men, whether or not sex was involved. The verdict? True.

Previously, this concept was only explored in only heterosexual communities. This time, Frederick and Fales accumulated data from 64,000 heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual participants from the age of 18 to 65 years old.

They were to imagine which would upset them more: their partners having sex with someone else (but not falling in love with them) or their partners falling in love with someone else (but not having sex with them).

Heterosexual men were more likely to be upset by sexual infidelity (54% vs. 35%) and less likely to be upset by emotional infidelity (46% vs 65%).

30% of bisexual men, 27% of bisexual women, 32% of gay men and 34$ of lesbian women felt upset over sexual infidelity.


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According to evolution, a man could never be sure if a child he was raising with a woman was his own. Therefore, when a woman may have had sex with another male, this causes upset for heterosexual men who would be raising a child that is not actually his – evolutionarily.

On the other hand, women fear that the male will leave them to raise their children alone. If a man isn’t emotionally attached, then he’s more likely to leave.

There are also other studies that explain the results. But whatever the reason, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher says that a bit of jealousy can be healthy for your relationship as it can “wake you up.” It reminds you that your partner is desired by others which, in turn, motivates you to be nicer to him/her.