AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Men are more forgiving to a girlfriend who has cheated with a woman, but women are more forgiving to a cheating man with another woman, U.S. researchers say.
Lead author Jaime C. Confer, a doctoral candidate in evolutionary psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, and her father, Mark D. Cloud, a psychology professor at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, asked 700 college students to imagine they were in a committed romantic and sexual relationship with someone they've been dating for three months.
The study subjects were questioned on how they would respond to infidelity committed by the imagined partner -- some unfaithful with a man, others with a woman.
Regardless of the number of episodes or partners, the researchers found:
-- Overall, men demonstrated a 50 percent likelihood of continuing to date a partner who has had a homosexual affair, while 22 percent said they stay with a woman after a heterosexual affair.
-- Women demonstrated a 28 percent likelihood of continuing to date a boyfriend who has had a heterosexual affair, while 21 percent say they would stay with someone who had a homosexual affair.
The findings, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, suggest men are more distressed by the type of infidelity that could threaten their paternity of offspring and men may view a partner's homosexual affair as an opportunity to mate with more than one woman simultaneously.