Presentation on theme: "Sex Differences in Feelings of Guilt Arising from Infidelity Fisher, M., Voracek, M., Rekkas, V., & Cox, A. (2008). Sex Differences in Feelings of Guilt."— Presentation transcript:
Sex Differences in Feelings of Guilt Arising from Infidelity Fisher, M., Voracek, M., Rekkas, V., & Cox, A. (2008). Sex Differences in Feelings of Guilt Arising from Infidelity. Evolutionary Psychology, 6(3), 436- 446. Presentation by: Jessica Strauss, Michael Cano & Natalie Pebbles
Objective: To investigate sex differences in guilt and forgiveness with respect to infidelity.
Infidelity is not necessarily the exception… http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s14e01-sexual-healing
Types of Infidelity: Emotional vs. Sexual Emotional infidelity = when an individual who is in a committed relationship feels romantic love toward a person other than their mate Sexual infidelity = when one partner engages in sexual activity with a person other than their mate
Guilt Guilt has been defined as “an interpersonal phenomenon that is functionally and causally linked to communal relationships of people… It is a mechanism for alleviated imbalances or inequities in emotional distress within the relationship” (Baumeister, Stillwell, and Heatherton, 1994, p.243). Guilt is a primary consequence of infidelity Guilt is influenced by intent
The Study Men are predicted to experience more guilt from an imagined performance of emotional infidelity Women will experience more guilt from an imagined performance of sexual infidelity Women will expect their partner to have more difficulty forgiving sexual infidelity Men will expect partner to have more difficulty forgiving emotional infidelity
The Findings: Sex differences in feelings of guilt Women feel guiltier following emotional infidelity Men feel guiltier following sexual infidelity –Men reported experiencing less guilt than women following both sexual and emotional infidelity Both men and women believe their partners would have a harder time forgiving sexual infidelity
Sex Differences in Feelings of Guilt: Cross-Sex Mind Reading Results suggest an absence of cross-sex mind reading which may lead to false inferences Perception Women perceive their affairs to be more emotional, while men perceive their affairs as sexual Intra-Sexual Competition Men may experience more guilt related to sexual infidelity because they know other men experience feelings of jealousy over sexual infidelity
Critical Review 1. Women showed more feelings of guilt over emotional infidelity, however they and their partners believed forgiving sexual, not emotional, infidelity would be a more trying task. - Women are aware of the importance males place on sexual loyalty, however men are not aware of the importance women place on emotional loyalty 2.Feelings were based on perception, not actuality. Men and women often perceive the same thing differently. 3. Not all who commit infidelity experience the feeling of guilt, often times perpetrator’s feel their dishonest actions are justified.
Study Confounds & Limitations Self-Report –Guilt is a deep emotion Forced-Choice Questionnaire –Random participants Based on imagined relationships –It is not yet possible to determine whether imagined vs. actual infidelity will yield different results
Further Research Focus on reaction times –Will combat forced-choice questionnaire Analyze what led to the infidelity, and consequently guilt –Not all who commit infidelity feel guilty Assess personal mate value –Partner’s who believe they are more valuable then their mate may experience less guilt
References Atkins, D.C., Yi, J., Baucom, D.H., and Christensen, A. (2005). Infidelity in couples seeking marital therapy. Journal of Family Psychology, 19, 470-473 Brase, G.L., Carprar, D., and Voracek, M. (2004). Sex differences in responses to relationship threats in England and Romania. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 21, 777-792 Buss, D.M., Shackelford, T.K., Kirkpatrick, L.A., Choe, J.C., Lim, H.K., Hasegawa, M., Hasegawa, T., and Bennett, K. (1999). Jealousy and beliefs about infidelity: Tests of competing hypotheses in the United States, Korea, and Japan. Personal Relationships, 6, 125-150. Cox, A. (2008). Sex Differences in Feelings of Guilt Arising from Infidelity. Evolutionary Psychology, 6(3), 436-446. Daly, M., Wilson, M., and Weghorst, S.J. (1982). Male sexual jealousy. Ethology and Sociobiology, 3, 11-27 Gilbert, P. (1997). The evolution of social attractiveness and its role in shame, humiliation, guilt and therapy. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 70, 113-147. Johnson, R.E. (1970). Extramarital sexual intercourse: a methodological note. Journal of Marriage ad the Family, 32, 249-255. Shackelford, T.K., Buss, D.M., and Bennet, K. (2002). Forgiveness or breakup: sex differences in responses to a partner’s infidelity. Cognition and Emotion, 16, 299-307. Spanier, G.B., and Morgolis, R.L. (1983). Marital separation and extramarital sexual behavior. The Journal of Sex Research, 19, 23-48.
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