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12 September 2011
Girl-on-girl infidelity more acceptable
by George Atkinson

Men are much more likely to continue dating a girlfriend who has cheated on them with another woman than one who has cheated on them with another man, say psychologists from the University of Texas at Austin. Interestingly, the researchers say that women show the opposite pattern. They 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 some new insights into the evolutionary adaptations behind men's desire for a variety of partners and women's desire for a committed partner. Such drives have played a key role in the evolution of human mating behavior. "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.

The study itself involved 700 college students, who were asked how they would respond to infidelity committed by an imagined partner. 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 had a homosexual affair.

The researchers say that men are likely more distressed by infidelity that could threaten their paternity of offspring. They add that men may also view a partner's homosexual affair as an opportunity to mate with more than one woman simultaneously.

"These findings are even more remarkable given that homosexuality attitude surveys show men have more negative attitudes toward homosexuality and to be less supportive of civil rights for same-sex couples than women. However, this general trend of men showing lower tolerance for homosexuality than women is reversed in the one fitness-enhancing situation - female homosexuality," explained Confer.

Related:
Sexual anxiety a predictor of infidelity
Shock finding: cuddling more important to men than women
Men And Temptation: A Risky Mix
Football Players Not Averse To Some Man-On-Man Action

Source: University of Texas at Austin




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