LivingDoes jealousy change according to sex?

Does jealousy change according to sex?

Jealousy is an intricate emotion. And despite their complexity, they are also very common. We have all felt some level of jealousy at some point in our lives (whether through anger, skepticism, shame … and many more emotions. But is there a difference between how men and women experience jealousy? women?

A team of researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has concluded that jealousy is very different according to sex. In summary, men experience more jealousy when they are victims of a sexual deception, while women are more affected by jealousy when it is a sentimental deception.

“You really don’t need jealousy until you need to protect yourself from being cheated on,” explains Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair of the NTNU Department of Psychology.

 

Genetically inherited behavior

That is, heterosexual men more frequently react more negatively when their partner has had sex with other people regarding whether she falls in love or spends time with someone without having sex. This has to do with evolutionary psychology , around children. If the woman is sexually unfaithful, it ultimately means that her partner may need to use her own resources to raise another man’s children.

Jealousy kicks in when a relationship we care about is threatened . The role is likely to be to minimize the threats to this relationship. These threats have historically been somewhat different for men and women ”, clarifies Per Helge H. Larsen, co-author of the work published in the journal Scientific Reports.

What about what women feel? Unlike men, heterosexual women, on the other hand, are always sure that the children are theirs, so they tend to react much worse when their partner has feelings for another woman than if they have had sex with her . Historically, it also has an explanation : in the past, women could suffer a loss of resources and status if the man left her and her children for someone else. Being left alone and helpless and suffering social criticism as well as economic deficiencies outweighs a merely sexual deception.

 

 

At what age do we start to be jealous?

According to the study, jealousy begins before the age of 16, much earlier than previously thought. After analyzing the cases of almost 1,300 adolescents between 16 and 19 years of upper secondary education, the researchers observed that gender differences in the way they process jealousy continued regardless of age, whether or not they had had sexual relations or whether or not they had a stable relationship. They presented the same jealousy parameters as adults, so this difference does not seem to have anything to do with experience.

“We knew that this difference sets in in the early 20s, but through our study we have shown that it appears even earlier,” says Larsen.

Of course, the experts are clear that this idea is still a speculation. “We need more research and theoretical development based on these findings,” they conclude.

Referencia: Investigating the emergence of sex differences in jealousy responses in a large community sample from an evolutionary perspective. Helge H. Larsen, Mons Bendixen, Trond Viggo Grøntvedt, Andrea M. Kessler and Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair. Scientific Reports (2021).DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-85997-7

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