Unreciprocated love or sexual attraction: Which is most upsetting?

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The present research sought to determine whether or not there are sex differences in reactions to an inequity in one partner’s love or sexual attraction towards her/his partner. Study 1 used a categorical measure and Study 2 used a continuous measure where participants were asked to indicate which scenario, partner is less sexually attracted to you than you are to her/him, and partner loves you less than you love her/him was most upsetting (Study 1), or to rate the level of upset associated with each scenario (Study 2). Based on prior research examining deficits in emotional and sexual access and prior research examining the role of emotional and sexual actions in reconciliation, an inequity in love between partners was hypothesized to be chosen as most upsetting (Study 1) and rated as more upsetting (Study 2) for both sexes. The results were consistent with the hypothesis for Study 1 only. No significant differences occurred for Study 2. These findings are discussed in terms of prior research on love and reconciliation.


EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium

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