American culture's deeply ingrained double-standard that exalts lesbians and vilifies gay men received a boost this weekend when researchers at the University of Texas at Austin released a new study on infidelity, published in the journal "Personality and Individual Differences."
Results of the research on modern relationships, which involved 718 college students, show that half of men would be OK with their girlfriends cheating on them with another girl, while only 22% of women in the survey would be OK if their man cheated on them with another man. Interestingly enough, more women found heterosexual infidelity to be more palatable: 28% of women in the study would be OK with their man cheating on them with another woman.
The study also found that men were more likely to end relationships because of cheating than women.
But while we might easily draw the double-standard line from the poll, researchers suggest that something more primal is affecting the results.
"A robust jealousy mechanism is activated in men and women by different types of cues -- those that threaten paternity in men and those that threaten abandonment in women," said Jaime Confer, the study's lead author and a PhD candidate in evolutionary psychology.
"Men, they said, felt more threatened by a rival male because of paternity uncertainty," reports Reuters, "whereas they saw a female partner's homosexual affair as an opportunity to mate with more than one woman simultaneously, satisfying men's greater desire for more partners."