Sex differences in response to imagining a partner’s heterosexual or homosexual affair
- ISSN: 01918869
- DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.09.007
Based on sexual strategies theory, we predicted that men would be less likely to continue an imagined long-term relationship following a partners heterosexual affair compared to homosexual affair. For women, it was expected that both affair types would result in a low willingness to continue the relation- ship, but especially so for homosexual affairs. We further predicted that the interaction would remain independent of the following moderator variables: number of affair partners, number of instances of infidelity, and real infidelity experience. Participants (N = 718) were randomly assigned to read one of eight infidelity scenarios and estimate the likelihood that they would continue the relationship. Results confirmed all three predictions. A separate analysis of relationship outcomes following real infidelity experiences provided additional corroboration. These results support the conclusion that threats to pater- nity and threats of abandonment differentially motivate men and women to terminate relationships in response to a partners infidelity.