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Chapter 2: The Jealousy Paradox

 

 

 

Chapter 2: The Jealousy Paradox

Summary

 

 

Jealousy, a word we are all too familiar with at one time or another, goes back to our ancestors success and proliferation as David M. Buss discusses in this chapter.  In a study performed, a sample of 651 university students who were actively dating, more than 33% reported jealousy posed a significant problem in current relationship (p28). Problems ranged from loss of self-esteem, verbal abuse, rage-ridden arguments to the terror of being stalked (p28).

Have you ever wondered where the word Jealousy came from? It came into the English language from the French words jaloux and jalousie and they derived from the Latin word zelosus (p28). This term was in turn borrowed from the Greek, zelos which meant fervor, warmth, ardor, or intense desire (p28).  The word jalousie however, has a double meaning, a Venetian blind. Psychiatrist Nils Retterstol, suspects that a situation arose in which a husband observed his wife from behind the jalousie, to catch her in the act of intercourse with another man (p28).

Some psychologists have developed their own definition for jealousy. The threat of losing a partner and the presence of a third party are the two components that define jealousy states Psychologist, Gordon Clanton (p28).  He further goes on to say that the situation is described as “the eternal triangle” that involves three parties: 1) jealous party, 2) mate, and 3) the rival (p28).  Psychologists Martin Daly and Margo Wilson define it as: 1) a temporary state, 2) a response to a threat, and 3) a motivated action designed to deal with the threat (p29).

In this chapter Buss presents some myths that are circulating about jealousy. First, Ralph Hupka presumes that the desire to control the sexual behavior of a mate is a result of society’s construction of a gender system (p30).  He goes on to say that it is within this system that arbitrary assignment of activities and qualities are assessed to each gender (p30). Hupka further states that either the culture or society assigns men and women certain distinct roles and activities; men generally are given the role of controlling the sexuality of their partner (p30).  Dinesh Bhugra, who thinks jealousy, is a result of a "capitalist society" (p30), presented a second myth. Bhugra feels that Capitalist societies place a premium on personal possessions and property, which then extends to possessing other people (p30).  In addition, this myth stated that capitalist societies encourage “treating the love object in a literal object manner, by taking the partner to be the individual’s personal possession or property” (p30-31).  The third myth, presented in the chapter had to do with low self-esteem, immaturity, or character defects.  Jealousy as a form of pathology was the fourth myth presented.  It stated that extreme jealousy results from a major malfunction of the human mind and that normal people do not experience extreme or intense jealousy (p31).

The next topic addressed in this chapter has to do with the evolution of conflict between sexes.  Buss, talks about how the evolutionary process is inherently competitive (p31).  Overall, he feels our primary competitors are members of the same sex within the same species.  He then goes into a bit of detail as to what some of the conflicts are between men and women in regards to sexuality. In other words, the different long-term, vs. short-term agendas.  Another major area of the evolution of conflict addressed relationships and the threats made to monogamy.  It discussed how women if they fail to guard their mate against infidelity that she risks losing his resources from her and her children toward a rival.  On the other hand, if the man fails his DNA is threatened (p34-35).  The biggest threats to unions between men and women are infidelity and abandonment.  Usually the majority of jealous episodes are useful expressions of effective coping strategies designed to deal with real threats to relationships (p36-36).

Most of our fears as humans Buss believes developed as a result to the fears and dangers that were present in our ancestral environment. Some examples he provides include, snakes, spiders, heights, darkness, and strangers (p37).  From this he believes the strategic interference of blocking a preferred mating strategy stemmed.  Next, he discussed how anger serves adaptive purposes which help: 1) alert person, 2) single out events for storage in memory, 3) motivate action direction toward reducing strategic interference and 4) motivate action designed to reduce future episodes of strategic interference (p38). 

Buss feels that jealousy is a more complicated emotion that is negative in a sense because it causes psychological pain, but it is also a useful coping device that when its understood, it is designed to deal with real relationship threats (p39). In the chapter, Paul Mullen, a psychiatrist discovered that men and women experience different types of emotions when they are jealous of which he reported included: pain, distress, self-blame, oppression, anxiety, loss, sadness, apprehension, anger, restless, distress, humiliation, shame, agitation, sexual arousal toward partner, fear depression, and betrayal (p39).  Another study done by Don Sharpsteen resulted in the findings of 86 distinct characteristics that people of romantic jealousy experiencing jealousy think, feel, and do (p39). 

The co-evolutionary spiral theory discussed the reciprocal changes occur sequentially in interacting species or between the sexes within one species. A perfect example of this theory was illustrated with the example of foxes and rabbits.  The foxes are the predators and the rabbits are the prey and basically the example illustrated that their physical characteristics and abilities change over time and continue until the natural physical limits have been reached  (p43). 

Among men and women the theory of co-evolution is best understood by the linked issues of commitment and sex.  First of all, women's preferences can exert selection pressures on men.  In reaction to this males develop deceptive strategies for providing false cues to commitment.  Then, its back to the women again and they continue to feel the selection pressure to screen out the deceivers. Some of the ways in which women accomplish this include the following methods: insisting on longer periods of courtship, and looking for signs that a man is "playing the field" are used as tests to measure a man's commitment (p44). 

Jealousy is the most important example that is mentioned to attest the power of the co-evolutionary spiral theory and it starts with the evolution of love.  One of the problems that are found in romantic bonds is how to defend against "poachers" (p45)?  This theory goes on to say that jealousy evolved as a primary defense to co-evolved response threats of a partner's infidelity and abandonment (p45).  Also, according to this theory jealousy alerts us to signals of betrayal, the example given was from the novel, Laughter in the Dark (p45).

Apparently, the intensity of jealousy reveals different messages to the partner about the strength of commitment, which fall into three categories: 1) absence of jealousy, 2) moderate jealousy and 3) excessive jealousy (p47).  In the case of there being an absence of jealousy this usually sends the signal that the partner has a lack of love (p47).  If there is moderate jealousy occurring, this sends out the signal that their partner feels committed to them (47). However, in the case of excessive jealousy the signal being sent out is one of a warning that there is danger ahead (p47).  The reason for it being a dangerous signal is easy, it tends to be a sign of anxiety about the relationship and in most cases its due to the fact that the partner feels threatened to a or by a real or imagined rivals (p47).

Have you ever wondered why women intentionally evoke jealousy in their mate by flirting with other men while in front of their mate? Well, it seems there are three reasons for this.  First, women increase a man's perception of their desirability by doing so.  Secondly, doing so provides the litmus test for her, which lets her evaluate the strength of her commitment.  Third, the man believes he's really lucky and strengthens his commitment to her (p47). 

The last point Buss made in the chapter was concerning how men learn to distinguish real threats from false alarms.  The reason that they learn to do this is so that they can separate a mate's casual flirtation from real sexual interest in a rival (p48).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3

Jealousy on Mars and Venus

David M. Buss, PHD

Part one Summary

 

            This chapter deals with the differences between men and women when it comes to jealousy.  Most literature and media depicts men as a jealous sex.  There has been many studies done to see which sex is more jealous by nature. In these studies they asked six simple questions that expressed the greatest distress over a lover and their actions.  “The most important finding, however was that men and women across all seven nations reported virtually identical levels of jealousy.  Jealousy responses to more extreme forms of infidelity, such as a partner frequently having satisfying sexual relations with someone else, also revealed that the sexes are virtually identical in all cultures” (Buss, 50).  These studies and clinical cases prove the typical stereotype of men being the most extremely jealousy is wrong and it can be found in both sexes.  

             Two examples of the equal amount of jealous in men and women is shown the next cases. One study case explained how “Enid” believed that her husband was cheating on her at work so she went to his office. When she got there is found that his office had been rearranged. She believed it was his lover who did it. It turned out that she was in the wrong office. The second example of jealous is when this man thought his wife was having an affair. One day he sneaked into his house and jumped out into the kitchen to find her cooking. She looked at him funny. These two cases prove that women just as much as men, have everyday manifestations and extreme jealousy behaviors.

            One thing that is different about men and women is their mating strategies.  “Women place a premium on commitment and all of the cues to commitment, most centrally emotional involvement and love. Men have evolved a greater desire for sexual variety, which produces tremendous conflict between the sexes, for it violates women’s desire for intimate involvement” (Buss, 51).  Men also are attracted to young, beautiful, and fertile women. These differences in strategies lead to the reason that jealousy exists between men and women.

Jealousy is also a result of strategic interference. Strategic interference “occurs when someone blocks or impedes the strategies and goals of another person.  The so-called negative emotions such as anger, fear, and jealousy are the tracking devices that alert us to strategic interference” (Buss, 51). This means that jealousy is caused by an interference of a relationship.  

            Interference in relationships causes males to risk paternity assurance. This is a huge cost to men if they invest in offspring that is truly not theirs.  This is explained by opportunity costs. Opportunity costs is when a man invests in one woman and loses out on other women because of it.  A man’s reputation can be damaged by being fooled by a woman with who is too free with his paternity certainty.  Since paternity assurance is such a big deal men become jealous of a partners infidelity.  This is the greatest cost put on ancestral men.

            Even though there is assurance in women’s maternity there is still some costs of a partner’s infidelity.  Women risk losing a man’s time, energy, resources, and commitment.  This can happen in affairs, losing husbands to other women, or having your husband invest in someone else’s wife and children.  When men get emotionally involved it is a sure sign of commitment and maternity is valued. 

            Women in general connect love and sex together.  John Marshal Townshed did a study on some college students and found out that 74 percent of men and only 22 percent of women find it easy to keep from getting emotionally involved. “Women who have sex without emotional involvement tend to feel vulnerable afterward, expressing the view that they feel used, degraded, and cheapened by the experience.  Men have less difficulty having sex without emotional involvement.  Women put more importance on their partner getting emotionally involved with another woman because this can be a threat of a longer-term connection.  Emotional involvement of her partner with another person is the strongest feelings of jealousy for a woman.

            Even though men are found to be more jealous when their partner’s sexual infidelity and women are more jealous of men when they get emotionally attached, does not mean that both sexes will be indifferent to any type of infidelity no matter if it is emotional or sexual.  There is also times when emotional and sexual are involved at the same time, just as it is possible to only experience one of those at a time.  For example, in one night stands and in close opposite-sex friendships.  Sometimes couples can be faced with the idea of “Sophie’s choice.” “In the movie Sophie’s Choice, Meryl Streep is forced to choose which of her two children will be killed” (Buss, 56).  Sophie’s choice can be applied to the jealousy dilemma in that men and women can determine which one would be more upsetting when asked if they could choose if their partner had a sexual or emotional involvement with someone else.  In a study done out of 530 men and women, 67 percent of men and 44 percent of women found it harder to forgive sexual infidelity.  The participants were asked to imagine their partner involved in either a sexual infidelity, having sex with someone else, and an emotional infidelity, falling in love with someone else.  After imagining, men became more physiologically distressed by the idea of sexual infidelity. They should signs of higher heart rates, skin conductance, appeared flushed, and obviously upset. Women on the other hand showed greater distress to the idea of their partner be apart of a emotional infidelity.  For example, their frowning increased nearly three times as much in response to emotional infidelity.

            There are two psychologists that differ in their beliefs about men and women’s feelings about sexual and emotional infidelity. David DeSteno and Peter Salovey believe in the double shot of infidelity theory. The double shot of infidelity is when a man thinks that his partner is becoming sexually involved with a rival, he also thinks his partner will be getting emotionally involved as well. Women believe in reverse double shot, That their partner becomes emotionally involved with someone else means that they will also become sexually involved with that person too. This means that men and women get jealous because they believe that either sexual infidelity or emotional infidelity will follow any connection with another person (Buss, 57-58).

            There were two studies done on various cultures that try to prove the double shot theory wrong. The first included questions in which they isolated the sexual and emotional components of infidelity.  Men and women differed by about 35 percent in their answers. Women continued to show more distress about their partner’s emotional infidelity and men continued to show more distress about their partner’s sexual infidelity. So if the double shot theory was correct the sex difference should have disappeared. The second study had the participants imagine their partner had become both sexually and emotionally involved with someone else. It turned out that 63 percent of men and only 13 percent of women found the sexual infidelity upsetting, but 87 percent of women and only 37 percent of men found the emotional aspect of infidelity bothersome (Buss, 58-59). “The same basic sex differences emerge in all these diverse cultures. Men’s jealousy is more sensitive to cues of sexual infidelity. These cross-cultural findings provide striking support for the theory that these are universal sex differences (Buss, 60).

 

Summary: Jealousy on Mars and Venus (cont.)

 

          Different things trigger men and women’s jealousy. Emotional aspects of betrayal trigger women’s jealousy while men’s is by sexual infidelity.  Women become insanely jealous when they see their partner forming an emotional bond through a shared joke or meaningful conversation.  While men’s sexual jealousy is so strong it can even be triggered before a relationship has been formed between him and his romantic interest.  Women also report that knowledge of there past sexual escapades provokes their current partner’s jealousy more than anything else does. 

Even though men and women have different triggers for jealousy, both are affected by sexual and emotional infidelity.  When asked to describe a specific episode of jealousy, men recite sexual aspects of infidelity, sometimes with vivid descriptions of their partner’s in sexual positions with other men.  Men have trouble removing these images from their minds.  Contrastly, women describe emotional aspects of infidelity such as their partner spending time with a rival, giving attention to that person, and sharing confidences. 

            We will now examine jealousy in homosexual relationships.  For committed romantic relationships, pretty much everyone, whether gay or straight, wants honesty, kindness, stability, sexual satisfaction, affection, equality, and low levels of conflict.  Through studies, many similarities and differences have been found within the homosexual and heterosexual communities.  One similarity for all men is that they share a strong desire for youth and physical attractiveness in potential partners.  But there were also significant differences.  Gay men were seven times as likely to have sexual encounters outside their primary relationships than straight men.  They also showed more distress about emotional betrayal than heterosexual males.  Looking at lesbian and straight females, both did not place much importance on youth in ranking of attractiveness.  One difference was that lesbians seem more distressed than heterosexual women about the sexual infidelity of a partner.

            The question arose about whether or not homosexual males were less sexually jealous than heterosexual males.  These are the results from a study done at Purdue University.  Supporting the less sexually jealous hypothesis, gay men reported less sexual jealousy in response to events such as witnessing a partner kissing someone else at a party of discovering a partner is having an affair.  On the other hand, gay men were less likely to disclose jealous feelings to their partner.  In another study done at Northwestern University, similar results were found.  Gay men in his study were more likely than heterosexual men to become upset at a partner’s emotional betrayal.  Lesbians were slightly more likely than heterosexual women to be distressed by a partner's sexual unfaithfulness.

            Based on these studies, some possible conclusions about jealousy in homosexuals can be made.            First, homosexual men seem to express less sexual jealousy than heterosexual men.  An explanation for this might be that in many homosexual relationships, it is understood that partners will have casual sexual encounters with others, as long as it does not affect the primary relationship.  It’s conceivable that gay men may experience the same levels of jealousy but may not express it to their partners.  The basic conclusion is that trends in jealousy found among heterosexuals seem to be reversed among homosexuals.

            The section entitled, “The Eternal Triangle,” used examples to show jealously among love triangles, that contain two people in a committed relationship and a rival.  The presence of rivals who may attempt to lure a mate away from a long-term relationship may not be threatening if it is someone like a bag lady or bum on the street.  If a homeless man leers at your mate, most likely your partner will not be tempted and thus, no threat is posed.  Rivals only become threatening when they display an equal or higher level of desirability.

            There are also differences between what makes men and women valuable to each other.  A man’s value is based on financial stability, status, ambition, industriousness, and maturity.  Women value signs that a man will be able to protect her such as physical strength and athletic superiority.  A woman’s overall mate value is based on her attractiveness and desirability.  This leads into the evolution of jealousy.

            The evolution of jealousy greatly explains the triggers of jealousy for men and women.  Jealousy in each sex has evolved to mirror the mate preferences of the other sex.  Women evolved to value professionally successful men, so a rival who excels professionally activates men’s jealousy.  Men evolved to value youth and physical attractiveness, so women are jealous of others who are younger or more attractive.  The reasons why men and women are jealous have been sculpted by generations of mate preferences imposed by the opposite sex.

 

          Different things trigger men and women’s jealousy. Emotional aspects of betrayal trigger women’s jealousy while men’s is by sexual infidelity.  Women become insanely jealous when they see their partner forming an emotional bond through a shared joke or meaningful conversation.  While men’s sexual jealousy is so strong it can even be triggered before a relationship has been formed between him and his romantic interest.  Women also report that knowledge of there past sexual escapades provokes their current partner’s jealousy more than anything else does. 

Even though men and women have different triggers for jealousy, both are affected by sexual and emotional infidelity.  When asked to describe a specific episode of jealousy, men recite sexual aspects of infidelity, sometimes with vivid descriptions of their partner’s in sexual positions with other men.  Men have trouble removing these images from their minds.  Contrastly, women describe emotional aspects of infidelity such as their partner spending time with a rival, giving attention to that person, and sharing confidences. 

            We will now examine jealousy in homosexual relationships.  For committed romantic relationships, pretty much everyone, whether gay or straight, wants honesty, kindness, stability, sexual satisfaction, affection, equality, and low levels of conflict.  Through studies, many similarities and differences have been found within the homosexual and heterosexual communities.  One similarity for all men is that they share a strong desire for youth and physical attractiveness in potential partners.  But there were also significant differences.  Gay men were seven times as likely to have sexual encounters outside their primary relationships than straight men.  They also showed more distress about emotional betrayal than heterosexual males.  Looking at lesbian and straight females, both did not place much importance on youth in ranking of attractiveness.  One difference was that lesbians seem more distressed than heterosexual women about the sexual infidelity of a partner.

            The question arose about whether or not homosexual males were less sexually jealous than heterosexual males.  These are the results from a study done at Purdue University.  Supporting the less sexually jealous hypothesis, gay men reported less sexual jealousy in response to events such as witnessing a partner kissing someone else at a party of discovering a partner is having an affair.  On the other hand, gay men were less likely to disclose jealous feelings to their partner.  In another study done at Northwestern University, similar results were found.  Gay men in his study were more likely than heterosexual men to become upset at a partner’s emotional betrayal.  Lesbians were slightly more likely than heterosexual women to be distressed by a partner's sexual unfaithfulness.

            Based on these studies, some possible conclusions about jealousy in homosexuals can be made.            First, homosexual men seem to express less sexual jealousy than heterosexual men.  An explanation for this might be that in m

any homosexual relationships, it is understood that partners will have casual sexual encounters with others, as long as it does not affect the primary relationship.  It’s conceivable that gay men may experience the same levels of jealousy but may not express it to their partners.  The basic conclusion is that trends in jealousy found among heterosexuals seem to be reversed among homosexuals.

            The section entitled, “The Eternal Triangle,” used examples to show jealously among love triangles, that contain two people in a committed relationship and a rival.  The presence of rivals who may attempt to lure a mate away from a long-term relationship may not be threatening if it is someone like a bag lady or bum on the street.  If a homeless man leers at your mate, most likely your partner will not be tempted and thus, no threat is posed.  Rivals only become threatening when they display an equal or higher level of desirability.

            There are also differences between what makes men and women valuable to each other.  A man’s value is based on financial stability, status, ambition, industriousness, and maturity.  Women value signs that a man will be able to protect her such as physical strength and athletic superiority.  A woman’s overall mate value is based on her attractiveness and desirability.  This leads into the evolution of jealousy.

            The evolution of jealousy greatly explains the triggers of jealousy for men and women.  Jealousy in each sex has evolved to mirror the mate preferences of the other sex.  Women evolved to value professionally successful men, so a rival who excels professionally activates men’s jealousy.  Men evolved to value youth and physical attractiveness, so women are jealous of others who are younger or more attractive.  The reasons why men and women are jealous have been sculpted by generations of mate preferences imposed by the opposite sex.

            The section entitled; “Jealousy about Rivals in the Netherlands” talked mostly about a study measuring whether physical attractiveness or dominance made men and women more jealous.   The researchers provided the men and women with scenarios of rivals flirting with their partners.  After the scenario was presented, participants saw a picture of the person, and then heard whether they were a dominant leader or a passive follower.  The results were that the men were not affected by the physical attractiveness of the rival but their dominance evoked great jealousy.  It was exactly the opposite for women.  Physical attractiveness evoked jealousy while degree of dominance had absolutely no effect.

            The next section was entitled, “Rival Jealousy in Korea, the Netherlands, and America.”  This was the first collaboration of studies documenting the characteristics people are specifically jealous about.  Men in all three cultures showed greater distress than women, over rivals, who had better financial prospects, better future job prospects, and greater physical strength.  Supporting the theory of jealousy about rivals, women in all three cultures became more upset over rivals who had more attractive faces and bodies.  Sexiness was also a key factor in provoking a woman’s jealousy.

            The following section, “Jealousy about Rivals in Kingston, Jamaica” is an example of one of the most vivid demonstrations of the destruction caused by jealous rivals.  Money in this society is scarce and what money people do have goes into making themselves more desirable for mates.  Even people who are in committed relationships are not out of the game.  They must constantly fear being ousted by someone more attractive.  The men fear being left by someone with better economic prospects, while women fear being left for someone with younger and more attractive.  Women look for men with “sweets”, cell phones and cars, to secure money for the survival of themselves and their children.  Men use what “sweets” they have to lure young women.  Since most men do not have money and resources, women compete fiercely for the ones that do. 

 

There are some extreme cases of women and men lashing out in jealous rages.  One of these such cases is with Sandy who used to be one of the “hot girls” in Kingston.  At one point, she had everything and was picked up by Lucky, a man that already had several girlfriends with babies. One day one of the “babymothers” threw a bucket of acid and gunpowder into Sandy’s face in a fit of jealousy.  Sandy face was scarred beyond repair.

            In conclusion, women and men compete to be what the other sex desires.  The

 

jealousy of each sex is keyed to those desires.  Although there are many extreme cases

 

such as the acid splashing in Kingston, passionate jealousy is within everyone.

 

 

 

Outline

 

I.                   Jealousy has deep evolutionary roots critical to:

        

A.    Success and proliferation of our ancestors    

 

II.                Study:

 

           A.  Sample of 651 university students who were actively dating, more                    than 33% reported jealousy posed significant problem in current

    relationship, problems ranged from:

              1.  Loss of self-esteem, verbal abuse, rage-ridden arguments                                                                                                            

              to terror of being stalked

 

III.             The Meaning of Jealousy

 

A.    Word Jealousy came into English language through French language

B.     French words jaloux and jalousie derived from Latin word zelosus

C.     Latin borrowed from Greek  work zelos, meant:

1.      Fervor, warmth, ardor, or intense desire

D.    French word jalousie, has a dual meaning:

1.      Refers to a Venetian blind, the kind with numerous horizontal

slats suspended on above the other  

2.      Meaning arose from a situation in which, husband suspicious

of his wife could observe her undetected from behind the jalousie, to catch her in the act of intercourse with another man 

E.     Psychologist Gordon Clanton defines jealousy  as capturing two ingredients :

1.      Threat of losing a partner

2.      Presence of a third party

3.      Situation described as “the eternal triangle”, three parties involved: jealous party, mate, and rival

                  F.   Evolutionary psychologists Martin Daly and Margo Wilson        

                        defines jealousy as: 

1.      A state- temporary/episodic experience, not permanent

affliction

2.      A response to a threat to valued relationship which person is heavily invested

3.      Motivating action designed to deal with the threat

                 G.  Jealousy distinguished from another term: envy

                                 1.  Latin word invidere: means to look upon with malice

H.      Differences between Envy and Jealousy

1.      Envy implies covetousness, malice, ill-will directed at someone

Who has what you lack

2.      Jealousy implies fear of losing to a rival a valuable partner that you already have

 

IV.              Myths About Jealousy

 

A.    Ralph Hupka –desire to control sexual behavior of mates is consequence

of social construction of gender system 

1.      Arbitrary assignment of activities and qualities to each gender

2.      Society or culture assigns men and women roles and activities; assigns men role of controlling the sexuality of their partners.

B.    Psychiatrist Dinesh Bhugra- result of “capitalist society”

1.      Capitalist societies place a premium on personal possessions and      

property, which extend to possessing other people

2.      Encourages “treating the love object in a literal object manner, taking the partner to be the individual’s personal possession or property”

C.    Low self-esteem, immaturity, or character defects

D.    A form of pathology

1.      Extreme jealousy results from a major malfunction of the human mind

2.      Normal people, don’t experience extreme or intense jealousy

 

V.                 The Evolution of Conflict Between the Sexes

 

A.    Evolution refers to change over time in organic design

B.    Adaptations inherited collections of characteristics that led to descendants success

C.    Evolutionary process inherently competitive

1.      Each person’s primary competitors are members of same sex within same species

D.    Women get more upset than men by acts of sexual aggression, such  as uninvited touching, unwanted sexual advances, & forced acts of sex

1.      Interferes with a woman’s free choice of when and with whom she wants sex

2.      Jeopardizing her valuable reproductive resources

E.     Men get more upset than women when someone they seek withholds sex

1.      Deprives a man of access to reproductive resources he has devoted so much effort to attaining

2.      Some feel “led on”

F.     Conflicts within relationships: threats to monogamy

1.      If a woman fails to guard against husband’s infidelity she risks losing his resources from her and her children toward a rival

2.      If a man fails this can literally threaten his DNA

G.    Infidelity & Abandonment most dramatic threats to fragile unions between men and women

H.    Majority of jealous episodes are useful expressions of effective coping strategies designed to deal with real threats to relationships

 

VI.              Emotions as Signals of Strategic Interference

 

 

A.    Emotions presumed to be carryovers from our ancestral past acted more from instinct than logic

1.      “Negative” emotions: anger, fear, distress, and jealousy

2.      Adaptive mechanisms that served the interests of our ancestors

3.      Emotions designed to cope with “strategic interference”

B.    Most common human fears fall heavily in a small number of categories:                                                

1.      Snakes, spiders, heights, darkness, & strangers 

2.      Likely to develop fears of dangers that were present in our ancestral environment

C.    Human fears emerge in development at time infants first encounter particular dangers

1.      Fear of heights & strangers, emerges around six months of age when start to crawl away from mother

2.      Study:  80% of infants who had been crawling for 41 days or more avoided crossing over a “visual cliff”

D.     “Irrational” or “negative” emotion, fear aided survival of our ancestors

E.      Type of strategic interference the blocking of a preferred mating strategy

1.      Men seeks casual sex/ Women seek long-term commitment:

man interferes with woman’s preferred long-term mating strategy

2.      Woman refuses sex prior to signs of commitment : simultaneously interfering with man’s short-term mating strategy

F.     Anger serves specific set of adaptive purposes:

1.      Alerts person to source of strategic interference

2.      Singles out these events for storage in memory

3.      Motivates action directed toward reducing strategic interference

4.      Motivates action designed to reduce future episodes of strategic interference

G.    Fear and Anger as emotions designed to solve adaptive problems & illustrate logic of strategic interference theory

H.    Jealousy more complicated

1.      Paul Mullen, a psychiatrist discovered men & women experience these emotions when jealous: pain, distress, self-blame, oppression, anxiety, loss, sadness, apprehension, anger, restless distress, humiliation, shame, agitation, sexual arousal toward partner, fear, depression, & betrayal

I.       Jealousy negative emotion in sense causes psychological pain; useful coping device when understand designed to deal with real relationship threats

 

VII.           Combating Threats: The Design of the Defense

 

A.    Jealousy has three essential ingredients/ different adaptive problems:

1.      Input-alert person he/she is facing threat, possible danger

2.      Information processing procedures & evaluation

3.      Output- a threat requires output or action

 

VIII.        The Co-Evolutionary Spiral Theory

 

A.    Reciprocal changes occur sequentially in interacting species or between the sexes within one species

1.      Changes over time continue indefinitely/ until natural physical limits reached

B.    Occurs between men and women over linked issues of commitment & sex

1.      Women’s preferences can exert selection pressure on men

2.      Some men may develop deceptive strategy of providing false cues to commitment

3.       Selection pressure on women to screen out the deceivers

4.      Selection pressure on men to become better deceivers

C.    Jealousy perfect example of power of co-evolutionary spiral & starts with evolution of love

1.      Romantic bonds problem: how to defend against “poachers”

2.      Jealousy evolved as primary defense, co-evolved response threats of partner’s infidelity & abandonment

3.      Jealousy gives us sensitivity to signals of betrayal, produces partners who conceal their defections & would-be- poachers who conceal their interest in mate (Ex. novel, Laughter in the Dark)

D.    Intensity of jealousy reveal to partner information about strength of commitment:

1.      Absence of jealousy signal lack of love

2.      Moderate jealousy signals their partner feels committed to them

3.      Excessive jealousy signals danger (Sign of anxiety about relationship; partner feels threatened by real or imagined rivals)

E.     Why women developed strategy of intentionally evoking jealousy by strategically flirting with other men in partner’s presence:

1.      Women increase man’s perception of their desirability

2.      Provides litmus test for her (She can evaluate strength of his commitment)

3.      Man believes self to be extraordinarily lucky & strengthens his commitment to her

F.     Men learn to distinguish real threats from false alarms                                                                     1.  To separate a mate’s casual flirtation from real sexual

                                         interest in a rival.

 

 

Chapter 3: Jealousy on Mars and Venus

 

I.            Women and men are virtually identical in levels of jealousy.

           

A.  The typical stereotype of men being the most extremely jealous is       

       wrong and can be found in both sexes.

 

B. Study:

           

1. "Enid" mistakes her husbands office for another man's office and  

      thinks his lover just changed his office around.

2.  A jealous husband makes a fool out of himself when he sneaks up on his wife because he believes she is with another man in their kitchen, only find her cooking.

 

II.             Women and men differ in their mating strategies.

 

A. Women place a premium on commitment, emotional involvement, and

      love.

 

B. Men place a premium on sexual variety, age, beauty, and fertlilty.

 

III.            Jealousy is a result of strategic interference.

           

            A.  Strategic interference "occurs when someone blocks or impedes the

      strategies and goals of another person." Anger, fear, and jealousy are  

      tracking devices to alert strategic interference.

B. Males risk paternity assurance and have to deal with opportunity costs   

     because of strategic interference.

            1. Opportunity costs is when a man invests in one woman and loses 

                out on other women because of it.

C. Females risk losing a man's time, energy, resources, and commitment.

 

IV.            Women and men differ in connecting love with sex.

 

A. John Marshal Townshed found that 74% of men and 22% of women         

     find it easy to keep from getting emotionally involved during sex.    

B. Women tend to feel vulnerable, used, degraded, and cheapened after sex

     without any emotional connection.

 

V.        Men are more jealous when their partner has sexual infidelity and women

            are more jealous when their partner has emotional infidelity.        

           

A. Sexual infidelity is having sex with someone else and emotional infidelity  

     is when your partner falls in love with someone else.

B. "Sophie's choice": (Meryl Streep) when men and women are told to  

     imagining choosing between sexual infidelity and emotional infidelity of

     their partner.

1. Study: Out of 530 men and women 67% of men and 44% of  

                women found it harder to forgive sexual infidelity.

 

VI.       David DeSteno and Peter Salovey's Double Shot Theory.

 

            A. Double Shot Theory: when a man thinks his partner is becoming 

                 sexually involved with a rival, he also thinks his partner will be

                 emotionally involved with them.

            B. Reverse Double Shot Theory: women think that when their partner

     becomes emotionally involved with someone else they will also will be

     sexually involved with them.

 

VII.           Universal sex differences: sexual infidelity and emotional infidelity.

 

A.     Cross-cultural Study:

1.      Isolated sexual and emotional infidelity: men and women differed in answers by 35%.

2.      Both sexual and emotional infidelity: 63% of men and 13%  

      of women found sexual infidelity upsetting and 87% of  

      women and 37% of men found emotional infidelity

      upsetting.

 

           

 

 

                       

 

Jealousy on Mars and Venus (Cont.)

I.                   Gender Differences in Triggers of Jealousy

 

1.      Women’s jealousy is triggered by emotional aspects of betrayal.

 

a.      Example:  sharing a joke or a meaningful conversation- anything that shows an emotional bond being made.

 

2.      Men’ jealousy is triggered by sexual infidelity.

 

a.      Mens’ sexual jealousy can be triggered even before a full-blown relationship is formed.  –before she has confirmed any interest in him.

b.      Women report that their past sexual involvement provokes their current partner’s jealousy more than anything else.

 

3.      Sexual and emotional infidelity upset both men and women

 

a.      When asked to describe a specific episode of jealousy...

 

1.       Men recite sexual aspects of infidelity, sometimes with vivid descriptions of their partners in sexual positions with other men.

2.      Women describe emotional aspects of infidelity- example: partner spending time, giving attention, and sharing confidences with a rival.

 

II.                Jealousy in Homosexual Relationships

 

1.      Universal wants in committed romantic relationships  (no matter what their sexual orientation)

a.      Honesty, kindness, stability, low levels of conflict, sexual satisfaction, affection, and equality.

 

2.      Similarities and Differences between homosexual and heterosexual men

 

a.      Both share a strong desire for youth and physical attractiveness in potential partners.

b.      Gay men were seven times as likely to have sexual encounters outside their primary relationship than straight men.

c.      gay men show more distress about emotional betrayal than heterosexual males

 

3.      Similarities and Differences between lesbian and straight women

 

1.      Both did not place much importance on youth in ranking of attractiveness.

2.      Lesbians seem more distressed than heterosexual women about the sexual infidelity of a partner

 

4.      Are gay men less sexually jealous?

 

A.    Results from a study done at Purdue University

 

1.      Gay men reported less jealousy than did heterosexual men in response to events such as witnessing a partner kissing someone else at a party or discovering a partner is having an affair.

 

2.      gay men were less likely to disclose jealous feelings to their partner

 

3.      Gay men may experience similar levels of jealousy as heterosexual men but are more reluctant to report it.

 

5.       Possible Conclusions about Jealousy in Homosexuals

 

a.      Homosexual men express less sexual jealousy than heterosexual men

Explanation:  in many homosexual relationships, it is understood that partners will have casual sexual encounters with others, as long as it doesn’t affect the primary relationship.

 

b.      Homosexual men may also experience same levels of jealousy but may not express it.

 

c.      Lesbian women appear more sexually jealous than heterosexual women do.

 

d.      Sex differences found among heterosexuals appear to be reversed among homosexuals

 

III.             The Eternal Triangle- Jealousy in committed relationships with a rival

 

a.      Non-threatening rivals --  Example:  a street bum or bag lady who leers at your partner may not be threatening

 

1.      Rivals become threatening when they display an equivalent or higher level of desirability.

 

2.      Mate Value

 

a.      Men’s value is based on financial stability, status, ambition, industriousness, and maturity.

b.      Women also desire men who can protect them

c.      Women’s mate value is based on their overall desirability and attractiveness.

 

3.      Evolution of Jealousy

 

a.      Jealousy in each sex has evolved to mirror the mate preferences of the other sex.

1.      Women evolved to value professionally successful men, so a rival who excels professionally activates men’s jealousy.

2.      Men evolved to value youth and physical attractiveness, so women are jealous of others who are younger or more attractive.

 

4.      Jealousy About Rivals in the Netherlands

 

a.      Study done measuring whether physical attractiveness or dominance made men and women more jealous.

 

b.  Results:  Men were not affected by the physical attractiveness of the rival.

1.      BUT, dominant rivals evoked more jealousy than nondominant ones.

2.      For women, results reversed- physical attractiveness had a huge impact.

3.      Conclusion of study:  Women are primarily threatened by rivals who have what men want and men vice versa

 

5.      Jealousy Study done in Korea, the Netherlands, and the US

 

1.      First collaboration of studies documenting specific characteristics that cause jealousy

 

2.      Results:  Men in all 3 cultures showed greater distress over rivals who had better financial prospects, better future job prospects, and greater physical strength.

 

-Women in all 3 cultures showed more distress if rivals had more attractive faces and bodies. 

-The rival’s sexiness also provoked women’s jealousy.

 

6.      Interesting Facts about Jealousy in Kingston, Jamaica

 

1.      there is a constant competition for desirable mates

2.      even people in committed relationships must still worry about losing their mates

 

a.      Men fear being left for a better economic prospect

b.      Women fear being left for someone younger and more attractive

c.       women look for men with money or “toys” such as cell phones and cars which signal status to secure money to support their children

d.      men also use these “toys” to lure women away from their mates

e.      most men do not have these resources, so women compete fiercely for those who do

 

IV.              Conclusion

 

1.      Everywhere women and men compete to be what the other sex desires

2.      Thus, the jealousy of the other sex is keyed to those desires

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Critical Review

 

Main Point of Interest:

 

·        The way jealousy was tied into being a survival skill for our ancestors and that although it is a “negative” emotion due o the psychological pain that accompanies it, yet, it’s a coping device that’s purpose is to help us deal with real threats to our relationships.

 

·        The most important finding is that men and women may differ in what causes them to be jealous, but can still have identical levels of jealousy.

 

·        When asked to describe a specific episode of jealousy, men recite specific episodes 

of infidelity, sometimes with vivid descriptions of their partners with other men.

 

Point I Disagree With:

 

·        Disagreed with some of the myths of jealousy. It was not really based on any facts or evidence to support the claims being made. Felt it was really irrelevant to the topic.

 

·        The information on the analogy of “Sophie’s Choice” was not stated clearly. It was stated but never really explained how it related to levels of jealousy.

 

·        Gay men were less likely experience sexual jealousy about their partner's infidelities than straight men.  They were also less likely to disclose their jealous feelings to their partner.  Gay men actually experience similar levels of jealously but are less likely to report it.

 

Point I Question:

 

·        Would have liked it to have more information and studies were provided concerning the different types and circumstances surrounding jealousy.

 

·        Strategic interference was very interesting. Would have liked to learn more information and studies about it.

 

·        Since violence has been a recurrent problem women face at the hands of men, women places greater importance on qualities that signal a man's ability to protect her, such as physical strength and athleticism.