Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, or so we’ve been told, and when it comes to jealousy this is especially true. Men, psychologists have long contended, tend to care more about sexual infidelity while women usually react more strongly to emotional infidelity. This view has long been espoused by evolutionary psychologists who attribute these gender differences to natural selection, which, they say, encouraged the sexes to develop different emotional reactions to jealousy.
However, a recent research paper published in Personality and Social Psychology Review by Christine Harris, a psychologist with the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego, casts serious doubts on this view of gender differences on jealousy and argues that more men and women appear to view sexual and emotional jealousy in the same light.
“This research has found that the evolutionary theory of jealousy just does not hold up to rigorous academic scrutiny,” said Harris. “A thorough analysis of the different lines of research which espoused this point of view raises serious doubts about how much of a sex difference actually exists. It is entirely possible that natural selection shaped the two sexes to be more similar rather than different.”
Dolores Davies | University of California, San Di
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