Jealous Much? Bisexuals Aren’t Any More or Less than Others

Visibility_ElisaA study released late last year shows that bisexual men and women aren’t any more or less jealous about their relationships than anyone else. Except for maybe heterosexual men.

Psychologists David A. Frederick and Melissa R. Fales, from Chapman University and UCLA, respectively, published a study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior considering how heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual men and women experience jealousy. Overall, the men were more concerned about sexual infidelity, whereas women are more bothered emotional infidelity. The research team surveyed 63,894 participants.

As Frederick and Fales describe, participants were asked to imagine two scenarios: “their partners having sex with someone else (but not falling in love with them) or their partners falling in love with someone else (but not having sex with them).”

Frederick and Fales found that 54 percent of heterosexual men reported being upset by the idea of sexual infidelity, as opposed to 35 percent of women. Conversely, 65 women said they would be upset by emotional infidelity, as opposed to 46 percent of men.

Another significant finding of the study is that this gender split only holds true in the case of heterosexual couples. Bisexual, gay, and lesbian participants showed no major difference in how they would react to sexual infidelity, and heterosexual males were the only demographic to consistently report that they would be more upset by sexual than emotional infidelity.

Bisexual men with female partners also didn’t have heightened jealousy of sexual infidelity. Heterosexual men were more likely than heterosexual women to be upset by sexual infidelity (54 vs. 35 %) and less likely than heterosexual women to be upset by emotional infidelity (46 vs. 65 %). This gender difference emerged across age groups, income levels, history of being cheated on, history of being unfaithful, relationship type, and length. The gender difference, however, was limited to heterosexual participants.

Bisexual men and women did not differ significantly from each other in upset over sexual infidelity (30 vs. 27 %), regardless of whether they were currently dating a man (35 vs. 29 %) or woman (28 vs. 20 %). Gay men and lesbian women also did not differ (32 vs. 34 %). The findings present strong evidence that a gender difference exists in a broad sample of U.S. adults, but only among heterosexuals.

CLICK HERE to buy the study.

Mike Szymanski
Mike Szymanski has written about bisexual issues since 1989 and has one of the longest-running regular bisexual columns as the National Bisexuality Examiner. He came out as bisexual in a cover story of Genre magazine, which resulted in more than 50 television appearances, including Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue Show and 20/20. Szymanski won the Lambda Literary Award in 2007 for co-authoring an informative humor book “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways.” Write him at [email protected]