Gender Differences in Perceptions of Infidelity
The study, published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, surveyed 112 undergraduate students. The students were asked questions about sexual and emotional infidelity that occurred both "offline" and on the internet. The study was prompted by the rise of the internet as a form of social communication - what impact does the internet have on real and 'online' relationshpis?
The researchers found that men felt sexual infidelity was more upsetting and women felt emotional infidelity was more upsetting.
“men were more likely to believe that women have sex when in love and that women believe that men have sex even when they are not in love. It was not, however found that either men or women believe that having cybersex implied the other was also in love or that being in love online implied they were having cybersex.”
“Given the newness of the internet, the rules have still not been clearly defined as to what are acceptable online encounters,” the authors note. “Our results support a social-cognitive model as they demonstrate that social shifts have led men and women to think differently about sex and love.”
Gender Affects Perceptions Of Infidelity, 30.10.2008, Science Daily