Sex Differences in Jealousy Research Paper

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Sex Differences in Jealousy

Jealousy is a reaction experienced in all relationships, whether between family members, mutual friends or couples.

Jealousy varies in intensity between relationships, depending on the strength of the bond between the people in the relationship, and their emotional attachment (Mayeux, 2011).

Over 80% of relationships with jealousy, both parties exhibit signs of jealousy.

Physiological differences between males and females determine their reaction when jealous.

The jealousy levels vary depending on psychological orientation of males and females, with more women exhibiting jealousy reactions than males (Richo, 2010).

The males exhibit sexual attachment while the females exhibit emotional attachment in the relationship (Buss, Larsen, Westen&Semmelroth, 1992).

All relationships with close emotional and intimacy attachment suffer a good degree of jealousy.

Jealousy can have negative effects, as well as, a positive result on the relationship.

3. Discussion of the research results

i. 53.5207% of the men in relationships experience jealousy.

ii. 57.9752% of the females experience jealousy in their relationships against their partners.

iii. The reaction from both sexes varies depending on the level of attachment in the relationships (Richo, 2010).

4. Conclusion

i. More women experience jealousy than males in the relationship.

ii.The level of jealous reaction varies depend on the type and closeness of attachment between the partners.


In species that have internal fertilization and gestation, which constitute of over 4,000 animals, including humans, the males always face an adaptive issue that the females never experience. This challenge is on the issue of paternity of the offspring. This challenge compromises the relations between the male and female due to the losses incurred in the realization of infidelity happening. However, the females also face uncertainty in view that, the male they are in relationship with, may invest in another female, channeling his efforts to them. Thus, in both sexes, there arises the feeling of jealousy, which is a state of emotional arousal from perceived threat to the relationship and motivating counter action to the threat (Southard, 2010). The level and jealousy type depends on the value of the relationship. Jealousy involves psychological reactions that occur from the perceived threat. Additionally, the reactions of males and females vary from the factors that activate jealousy, from physical to psychological build of the two sexes.


Jealousy is a psychologically affecting issue that translates into various reactions. The current nature of the society is not helping either as social stratification is making it harder for the genders to relate without perceived emotional or intimate interests in each other (Richo, 2010). In view of the aspects of jealousy featuring in the relationships across the globe, it leads to two key hypotheses that this study seeks to establish.

Hypothesis 1: the first postulate is that there is a direct positive relation between anxious attachment and the strength of the emotional reaction. This hypothesis seeks to establish that people who have emotional issues such as feelings of dejection, upset and fear will score higher on the jealousy Bringle scale.

Hypothesis 2: the second assumption that this study seeks to establish is that women will score higher on the scale of jealousy as compared to males. This has limitation from the data findings. However, it will draw points from background information, as well as, the comparison of the figures in the data collected. It features the aspects of relations between emotional and sexual infidelity within the relationship, as well as, the level and type of attachment for both sexes.

Background information

Various studies indicate that men worry more about their paternal authenticity whereas women worry more about securing a genuinely loyal father to their children. In the subject of jealousy, there are two forms of jealousy identified and evaluated pertaining the two sexes. These are the sexual jealousy, and emotional jealousy (Mayeux, 2011). Additional evolutionary experiences and evidence indicate the existence of evolving structures concerning the two jealousy occurrences. The resultant findings of initial writings and studies indicate that women depict varied reactions in view of the two types of jealousy. Women worry more over the presence of emotional infidelity in their relationships than sexual infidelity. On the contrary, the resulting findings on the males indicate that men dislike and express adverse reactions towards sexual infidelity than emotional infidelity (Buss, Larsen, Westen & Semmelroth, 1992). Emotion in a relationship entails the conceptual feeling that is natural resulting from perceived or actual involvement of a partner in a close relationship to another outside the relationship.

To understand the nature of the hypothesis concerning jealousy among the sexes, it is essential to evaluate the closeness in the relationship. In definition, the closeness between partners in a relationship is the degree of interdependence between the partners themselves. This interdependence is from the extent to which the behavior and beliefs of one of the partners may cause changes to the feelings, thoughts and behaviors of the dependent person. The interdependence could also be mutual, influencing both partners in the relationship (Rydell, McConnellA & Bringle, 2004). The definition of closeness indicates four features that will determine the form and intensity of jealousy the sexes will exhibit. These are the strength, frequency, diversity and duration of contact of the relationship. These features determine the sacrifices that the partners put in establishing the relationship and the investment of time, emotions and resources among others. Thus, the interdependence within the relationship closeness models the conceptual basis for predicting the individual who is most likely to be more jealous. In this view, it is clear that an individual will not experience jealousy since they do not have an exclusive mutual benefit from the relationship. The individual who has nothing of significance in the relationship will not experience jealousy in case of a threat to the relationship as the other individual. This dynamic factor is especially true for the cases of emotional jealousy in the relationship (Kennair, Nordeide, Andreassen, Stronen & Pallesen, 2011). Initially, from the findings of other researches, it indicates that women experience emotional jealousy due to the attachment they have towards the male. Therefore, in view of the closeness between the partners in the relationship, the female gender has a higher likelihood of attachment within the relationship emotionally than the male sex. Therefore, this perspective brings the finding that, from the closeness of the relationship, it is true that the female sex will experience higher anxiety in view of the emotional jealousy within the relationship.

Additionally, the females also have a physical attachment towards the males. This indicates that the females will certainly experience the sexual jealousy in the perception that there is a threat to the relationship from another mate (Richo, 2010). Thus, it is evident that the females will experience higher levels of jealousy since they will exhibit the emotional jealousy, in addition to sexual jealousy. The males, on the contrary, exhibit sexual attachment towards their partners since they have physiological aspects better developed than psychological attachment. The physiology of men is such that they react more towards physical threats than emotional threats. Therefore, from this establishment, the males will exhibit higher levels of jealousy in the perception of a physical threat of infidelity involving their partners sexually. Thus, males are less likely to exhibit jealousy as their reactions is from the threats they perceive to threaten their sexual territories. Therefore, literature indicates that the female sex demonstrates higher levels of jealousy than the males.

Jealousy stems from various threats, which may be imaginary or real. The effects are equally dynamic as this can be a positive factor to the relationship, or a bad factor. In the perception of jealousy as a bad factor, this determines the negative reaction that the individual will depict. In the view of the negative features of jealousy, factors and findings such as feelings of madness, hurt, threat and bad thoughts, among other stereotype views feature. Additionally, the review of other relationships indicates that, jealousy is a distractive emotion that affects those who have close intimate relations as compared to those who do not have the exclusive closeness within the relationship. In cases where the relationship features extreme emotional attachments that seem to be obsessive in nature, the jealousy in such relations is negative. It is destructive, affecting the relations in a devastating manner as compared to those relationships with less extreme attachment. Additionally, in perception of jealousy among the sexes, other factors determine the level of experience among the sexes in the relationship. These factors include the self-esteem and self-confidence of the individuals. People who have low self-esteem and inadequate confidence within themselves as persons, they will exhibit general high anxiety within the relationship, thus suffering bad jealousy. Additionally, people who have features that characterize low trust and empathy for others, loneliness and depression, neuroticism and hostility are more likely to experience jealousy within the relationship. These features show evidence that the relationships with less closeness among themselves also exhibit threat of jealousy. Thus, the negative factors in jealousy feature in relationships with esteem closeness in the relationship, as well as, those with…[continue]

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