Communication Responses to Romantic Jealousy and Perceived Mate Value in Relationships: Challenging Evolutionary Perspectives Associated with Jealousy Communication
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This study examined communication responses to jealousy in relation to biological sex, sexual orientation, and perceived mate value in romantic relationships by surveying 242 individuals. Evolutionary psychology is a popular theory tied to existing research on jealousy communication, attributing the origins of jealousy to an evolutionary need to procreate and care for offspring. Homosexuality adds a new perspective as partners must be of the opposite sex to naturally procreate. Perceived mate value in relationships was hypothesized to be an alternative reason for differences in communication responses to jealousy. Results indicated that differences in communication responses to jealousy vary based on sex, but sexual orientation is not related to communication responses to jealousy on its own. However, when sexual orientation was considered across sex, more nuanced patterns were revealed. Additionally, perceived mate value was found to impact men and heterosexual individuals’ communication strategies. Overall, the findings support the idea that evolutionary theory alone does not offer a comprehensive explanation for communication responses, and that a dual evolutionary and social role perspective could help researchers more accurately assess communication.