Gender, socioeconomic status, age, and jealousy: emotional responses to infidelity in a national sample

Emotion. 2006 May;6(2):330-4. doi: 10.1037/1528-3542.6.2.330.


The authors used a representative national sample (N = 777) to test the evolutionary hypothesis that men would be more bothered by sexual infidelity and women by emotional infidelity, the Jealousy as a Specific Innate Module (JSIM) effect. Our alternative conceptualization of jealousy suggests that there are distinct emotional components of jealousy that did not evolve differently by gender. The authors looked for effects of age, socioeconomic status (SES), and type of measure (continuous or dichotomous) on jealousy. The authors did not find age or SES effects. Forced-choice items provided support for our alternative view; both genders showed more anger and blame over sexual infidelity but more hurt feelings over emotional infidelity. Continuous measures indicated more emotional response to sexual than emotional infidelity among both genders.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Biological Evolution
  • Deception*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Jealousy*
  • Male
  • Object Attachment
  • Sexual Behavior* / psychology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States