In previous posts by Human_v2 and Archwinger it has been discussed that:
women value emotional attachment in a relationship since this means access to a man’s resources, ensuring safety for her and her children. Conversely, men value sex and exclusivity because it ensures he can pass on his genes successfully. If a woman has an emotional affair, men are less worried if sex is not involved. If a man has a sexual affair, women are less worried if he is not emotionally invested in the other woman.
We actually have data on this. A survey from a dating site and a scientific study from the journal Evolutionary Psychology:
- 72 percent of men said sexual affairs were worse than emotional affairs.
- 69 percent of women said emotional affairs were worse than sexual affairs.
- 76 percent of women would forgive their partner for a strictly sexual affair
- Only 35 percent of men would forgive their partner for a strictly sexual affair.
- 80 percent of men said they would forgive an emotional affair.
- Only 30 percent of women would forgive an emotional affair.
Women will mostly forgive men having a sexual affair, but not an emotional affair. For men it is the other way around.
The journal article is titled "Was that Cheating? Perceptions Vary by Sex, Attachment Anxiety, and
The literature cited in the article agrees that:
Sex differences in responses to infidelity are well documented (e.g., Buss, Larsen,
and Westen, 1996; Buss et al., 1992). The vast majority of research indicates that men are more distressed when considering the possibility of their partners’ sexual infidelity (e.g., having sexual intercourse with someone else, trying different sexual positions) whereas women are more distressed when considering the possibility of their partners’ emotional infidelity (e.g., forming a deep emotional bond with someone else, falling in love; Sagarin et al., 2012). Because men have paternal uncertainty, women's sexual infidelity may result
in cuckoldry, in which case a man expends resources on another man’s offspring (Buss,
1995; Shackelford and Buss, 1997).
On the other hand, women generally perceive emotional infidelity as a greater threat
than sexual infidelity because it could lead to her mate deserting her for another woman.
This desertion presumably results in the loss of any protection and resources for her (and
her children) that her mate was providing (Buss, 1995; Shackelford and Buss, 1997). This
sex difference in distress from sexual and emotional infidelity has been found using self-report and physiological measures (Buss et al., 1992), continuous measures of jealousy
(Edlund, Heider, Scherer, Farc, and Sagarin, 2006), and reaction times in decision-making
(Schützwohl, 2004). It has also been replicated cross-culturally (Buss et al., 1999; Buunk,
Angleitner, Oubaid, and Buss, 1996; Geary, Rumsey, Bow-Thomas, and Hoard, 1995) and
in an older, community sample (Shackelford et al., 2004).
The journal article's results are that:
Women’s ratings were significantly higher than men’s ratings on ten items for erotic behaviors, emotional bonding, behaviors implying relationship status, and financial support. Men’s ratings were significantly higher than women’s ratings on a minor financial support item (giving $5).
You will find the results in Table 1, in the column "Sex", which is the variable responsible for the sex of the participant of the study. Look for values with three stars, which signifies high significance of the results and the value is the strength of the sex difference in response to the cheating behavior. Women respond stronger to cheating as:
- Kissing on the lips
- Texting erotic messages
- Watching a pornographic movie together
- Holding hands.
Although everybody agrees, that PIV is cheating...