Upset in response to a Sibling’s partner’s infidelities

Human Nature 18 (1):74-84 (2007)
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Using data collected from people with at least one brother and one sister, and consistent with an evolutionary perspective, we find that older men and women (a) are more upset by a brother’s partner’s sexual infidelity than by her emotional infidelity and (b) are more upset by a sister’s partner’s emotional infidelity than by his sexual infidelity. There were no effects of participant sex or sex of in-law on upset over a sibling’s partner’s infidelities, but there was an effect of participant sex on reports of upset over one’s own partner’s infidelities. The results suggest that the key variable among older participants is the sex of the sibling or, correspondingly, the sex of the sibling’s partner, as predicted from an evolutionary analysis of reproductive costs, and not the sex of the participant, as predicted from a socialization perspective. Discussion offers directions for future work on jealousy



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