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Men and Women Get Jealous for Different Reasons, and There’s a Scientific Explanation for It

Jealousy is a very strong feeling that greatly affects the way a person thinks and behaves. And even though it’s claimed to be a universal trait, typical in human relationships in almost every culture, men and women show different variations of it.

We at Bright Side dove deeper into this topic and learned about some scientifically-backed explanations for it, and now we’re sharing what we found with you.

Evolution’s plan in action

In terms of evolution, it’s crucial that we not only live our own lives but create new ones too. According to research, men and women are designed in a certain way to do 2 important tasks: leave many offspring and invest in their children’s well-being as much as possible.

The former is assigned to males, which is why they strive to transfer their genes by impregnating different females. And females, on the other hand, tend to benefit from carefully choosing mates who will take better care of the children. And this biological determination explains the differences in what makes us jealous.

Men want to be sure.

Since biologically, men have a mission of procreation, they want to make sure the offspring they raise is really their own. While the whole process goes on inside women, ruling out any question of the baby being theirs, there’s no such guarantee for men.

So, based on this fact, researchers explain that men consider physical cheating to be worse than emotional, as they see it as a risk of investing resources in children that are genetically not related to them.

Women want to do the best for their children.

For women, the cause of jealousy is the opposite — they desire a strong bond with a partner to successfully rear children which is, again, determined biologically. That’s why they’re more distressed by emotional cheating rather than physical: it increases the risk of being abandoned and losing the partner’s help.

Jealousy depends on the relationship too.

However, a new study suggests that not only biological roles affect these types of jealousy, but also, our perception of the relationship we have. Researchers spoke about 2 attachment types in a relationship, dismissive and secure, and studied their connection with jealousy.

People of the first type value their independence much more than anything else, and they distance themselves from deep connections. Dismissive people get jealous on an unemotional level, and physical cheating bothers them more. The secure type, in contrast, feels very comfortable in relationships and enjoys interdependency, and these people are very much distressed by emotional infidelity.

The most interesting part of this research is that men turned out to be more dismissive, while women, more secure. And again, this result — even though it’s from another perspective — confirmed the idea that men and women get jealous for different reasons.

What are the reasons you get jealous?