Imagine the scenario: You’ve been going out with your girlfriend for about three months and you walk into the bedroom and find her knocking boots with another girl. Do you immediately fly out of the room in a fit of anger, rage and despair or do you shrug in confusion?
That’s exactly what researchers asked 700 college students to envision. The study was meant to find out whether there was any difference in attitudes when it came to the gender of the person a partner decided to cheat with.
The findings were surprisingly conclusive. Half of all male participants said that they would be willing to continue dating a partner if they found out that their girlfriend had been cheating on them with another girl. Only 22 percent said the same if the cheatee was a man.
Women seemed less likely to accept any form of cheating, but it seemed that they would be more tolerant of a heterosexual affair. Around 28 percent said they would take a boyfriend back after a fling with another woman, while 21 percent said the same about a fling with a man.
“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 C. Confer, the study’s lead author.
Additionally, report authors noted that the “general trend of men showing lower tolerance for homosexuality than women is reversed in the [situation of] female homosexuality.”
If you’re in college at all, relationship or not, it’s usually best to know how to use condoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that these contraceptives have been proven to significantly reduce the chance of catching common STDs.