Jealousy has brought and end to countless loving relationships throughout history, but now scientists have found out just how differently it affects men and women.
For men, the most hurt that their partner can do to them is to be sexually unfaithful. However, women find emotional betrayal far harder to forgive than sexual infidelity, a study has found (Ha, like we didn't know that). Scientists say the findings show how the different sexes have different priorities.
They say there are sound evolutionary reasons why men need to ensure that they are not raising another man's offspring. For women, on the other hand, their priority is to find a partner who will stick around to help raise their family.
The study, carried out by a team of psychologists at Florida Atlantic University in the US, set out to discover how men and women reacted to infidelity and whether their relationship history played a part.
The study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, found that men were twice as likely to be upset by sexual rather than emotional infidelity, while women had the opposite reaction.
When the team looked at the participant's relationship histories, they discovered that the reactions were heightened in men who had previously been involved in long-term committed partnerships. But for women they found little difference in their reactions regardless of their relationship history. They said this might be due to the way women are taught to value relationships from and early age.
The researchers said their findings fit with past studies, which found that jealousy manifested itself in different ways in men and women. Both sexes have a jealousy physiology, but some of the triggers that activate men's jealously are different from the triggers that activate women's jealousy.