This Is How Men and Women See Cheating Differently, According to a Study
Cheating is a point no relationship wants to reach but is sadly a common issue, with a 2015 study finding 45% of men had been unfaithful and 21% of women.
Dating apps like Tinder likely haven't helped matters as 42% of users reportedly aren't even single.
A new study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology has investigated the after-effects of infidelity and whether the act is viewed differently by men and women. Researchers took 92 heterosexual couples from the university and asked their responses to hypothetical cheating situations.
Mic reports that, "All of the scenarios start out the same way: One person in the relationship goes to a party without their significant other and meets someone that they "danced intimately and flirted [with]" throughout the night. In two of the scenarios, the participant was the cheater, either having sex with the party-goer or simply partaking in the "emotional infidelity" of dancing intimately and flirting. In the other scenarios, the participant is the one being cheated on in these two ways (emotional or sexual infidelity). All of them were asked to rate their feelings about the four scenarios."
Interestingly the results found that cheaters found it hard to believe they had been forgiven. "Negative forgiveness bias was present for both emotional and sexual infidelity scenarios, and for male and female participants," the study authors noted.
However, men and women had different views on emotional cheating. Women didn't believe men could forgive them for emotional infidelity such as dancing intimately or flirting at a party, while men were more likely to forgive emotional infidelity, perhaps as they don't see this as cheating.
Men were more threatened by the idea of physical cheating than emotional although both sexes rated sexual infidelity as equally damaging.
The study concluded that, "Even though both men and women perceive both emotional and sexual infidelity as relationship threats, they have very different appreciations of the severity of especially emotional infidelity. This may potentially be a source of misunderstanding, conflict and miscommunication in couples, and maybe a topic that couple counselors need to address."
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.