Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 11

Infidelity

Many human societies are based around notionally monogamous relationships However, it is relatively common for both men and women to engage in sexual activity with additional partners

www.psychlotron.org.uk

Infidelity
Prevalence of sexual infidelity difficult to measure for obvious reasons. Some estimates from the US:

www.psychlotron.org.uk

Sexual infidelity occurs in 20-25% of marriages (Wiederman, 1997) 65-75% of university students have had some degree of extradyadic involvement whilst in a serious relationship (Shackelford et al, 2000)

Infidelity
Infidelity also occurs in various animal species, including those that apparently form monogamous pair bonds

www.psychlotron.org.uk

It occurs in both males and females E.G. in some supposedly monogamous bird species 10-40% of chicks were fathered by a male other than the females pair-bonded mate

Infidelity & Evolution


Infidelity might have evolutionary advantages & be an adaptive strategy If so, male & female infidelity are likely to have different motives & possible consequences

www.psychlotron.org.uk

Male Infidelity
Possibly explainable in terms of quantity based indiscriminate mating strategy More partners = more offspring

www.psychlotron.org.uk

Men more likely to report having affairs that were just about sex (Glass & Wright, 1985) Male infidelity not necessarily linked to dissatisfaction with current relationship (Hall & Fincham, 2005)

Female Infidelity
Possibly explainable in terms of quality based strategy for optimising survival chances of offspring

www.psychlotron.org.uk

Best physical specimens may not be best resource providers (best of both worlds) Infidelity more strongly linked to dissatisfaction with currently relationship than in male infidelity (Glass & Wright, 1985)

Infidelity
That infidelity serves different purposes in M & F is supported by other evidence e.g.

www.psychlotron.org.uk

M less likely to forgive, more likely to break up with sexually, rather than emotionally unfaithful partner (Shackelford et al, 2002) F seem more sensitive than M to emotional infidelity (Hall & Fincham, 2004)

Infidelity & Parental Investment


Infidelity may have an influence on investment in offspring & other parental behaviour

www.psychlotron.org.uk

It makes poor evolutionary sense to invest in offspring that dont carry your genes Females can be certain that the young are theirs, males less so Mummys babies, daddys maybes

Infidelity & Parental Investment


Misattributed paternity prevalence is difficult to measure. Sample estimates:

www.psychlotron.org.uk

Anderson (2005) meta-analysis, studies of general population: 3.9% Bellis et al (2005) meta-analysis, studies of general population: 3.7% CSA (2005) cases of disputed paternity only: 16%

Infidelity & Parental Investment

www.psychlotron.org.uk

Infidelity & Parental Investment


Because females can always be certain that the offspring carry their genes they are likely to invest more resources

www.psychlotron.org.uk

This tendency is multiplied across generations, so mothers mother (guaranteed relationship) invests more than fathers father