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Men and Women Hurt by Different Aspects of Cheating

Update Date: Mar 10, 2014 09:06 PM EDT

Emotional infidelity is more painful than sexual infidelity for wives, according a new study.

Researchers found that women would rather their husbands have a sexual fling than emotional bond with another female. The latest survey revealed that two in three women they would be hurt by emotional bonding than extramarital sex.

However, men seem to be more concerned with sexual infidelity as only one in three men said their wife forming an emotional bond with another man was more hurtful than if they were having extramarital sex, according to the Daily Mail.

The survey also revealed that four in five women said they would be more jealous of their husband falling in love with another woman than trying different sexual positions. However, more than half of men said that the idea of their partner having sex with another man was more upsetting than their wife being in love with someone else.

The latest study involved 477 American adults who were asked different questions about emotional and sexual infidelity.

While women were more hurt by emotional infidelity, men were more hurt by sexual infidelity, according to the study findings. However, both men and women reported that the combination of emotional and sexual infidelity was the worst for men, but not for women.

Researchers found that women would feel more pain if their partner was sexually interested in a former lover than if they became emotionally involved with an ex. The study found the opposite to be true for men.

"Males reported that sexual infidelity scenarios were relatively more distressing than emotional infidelity scenarios, and the opposite was true of females," lead researcher Dr. Gary Brase of Kansas University said in a news release. "No factors showed a stronger relationship with reactions to infidelity than participant sex."

"This research finds no evidence that the specific beliefs about infidelity, sex roles, attachment styles, reported socio-sexual orientation, or cognitive styles are driving the consistent sex differences found in reactions to different types of infidelity scenarios," he said. "Men can never be absolutely certain that an infant carries their genes."

"This prospect should make men differentially sensitive to sexual infidelity on the part of their mate," he added.

"Women, on the other hand, confront a different potential problem of ensuring continued paternal investment by the sire of their child," Brase said.

"This possibility should make women differentially sensitive to emotional infidelity of their mate," he explained.

The findings were published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology.

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