Date of Thesis

5-2-2014

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

T. Joel Wade

Abstract

Prior research examining relationship repair after infidelity scenarios tends to focus primarily on heterosexual relationships, and often does not take into consideration the nuance between emotional and sexual infidelity, which, according to evolutionary psychology theories, tends to be salient to individuals based on their reproductive challenges. This research intended to rectify that dearth, hypothesizing that non-heterosexual participants would be more likely to repair a relationship where a partner has committed sexual infidelity than they would be to repair a relationship where a partner has committed an emotional infidelity. As well, based on prior research, there were expectations for sex differences in the likelihood of repairing a relationship after infidelity by a partner for participants in committed relationships, with female participants likely to repair emotional infidelity and male participants likely to repair sexual infidelity. In a survey of volunteers online, likelihood of repair for relationships after sexual or emotional infidelity was related to the sexual orientation of participants. Homosexual/other individuals were equally likely to repair their relationship after an emotional or sexual infidelity was committed by a partner and were more likely to repair a relationship after a partner committed a sexual infidelity than heterosexual individuals were. A qualitative question component obtained more information about the participants¿ logic behind their reconciliation choices, and these results along with the quantitative results are discussed and interpreted using themes from earlier research.

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