Friday, 13 January 2012 03:00

Is Jealousy in Homosexual Relationships Different?

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Dear Sappho

Jealousy in homosexual relationships is really not much different than jealousy in heterosexual relationships, is it? Are lesbians more jealous than straight women? Are gay men less jealous than straight men? What do you have to say about jealousy?

Shades of Green

Dear Shades of Green

Sappho wrote a poem about jealousy. I think she was speaking of her own feelings while watching a man speak to and sit near her loved one.Here is the poem:

That man to me seems equal to the gods,

The man who sits opposite you and close by

Listens to your sweet voice

And your enticing laughter that indeed has stirred up the heart in my breast

For whenever I look at you even briefly

I can no longer say a single thing

But my tongue is frozen in silence

Instantly a delicate flame runs beneath my skin

With my eyes I see nothing; my ears make a whirring noise

A cold sweat covers me

Trembling seizes my body, and I am greener than grass

Lacking but little, of death do I seem

Universal requirements and desired qualities in committed romantic relationships include; Honesty, kindness, stability, low levels of conflict, sexual satisfaction, affection, and equality, no matter what the sexual orientation. Sexual and emotional infidelity upsets both men and women; 63% of men and 13% of women found sexual infidelity upsetting and 87% of women and 37% of men found emotional infidelity upsetting.

In studies about jealousy, woman stated they find jealousy is characterized by emotional aspects of betrayal. When asked to describe jealousy, women mentioned emotional aspects of infidelity- ex: partner spending time, giving attention, and sharing confidences or intimacy.

Jealousy includes thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something valuable, particularly losing a partner you already have. Jealousy includes emotions of anger, sadness, resentment, and disgust. It is not to be confused with envy. Women are primarily threatened by rivals who have what their partner desires.

Jealousy in males is usually triggered by sexual infidelity and it often includes sexual jealousy that is provoked without any interest or intention on behalf of the woman being sought. Women reported that their sexual past provoked their current partner’s jealousy far more than other combined factors.

Jealousy in each sex has evolved to mirror the preferences of the other sex. Women evolved to value successful men, so a rival who excels professionally activates male jealousy. Men evolved to value youth and physical attractiveness, so women are jealous of those who are who seem younger or more attractive.

Are gay men less sexually jealous? Results from a study done at Purdue University found that gay men reported less jealousy than did heterosexual men in response to events such as witnessing a partner kissing someone else at a party or discovering a partner is having an affair. Gay men were less likely to disclose jealous feelings to their partner.

Lesbian women appear more sexually jealous than heterosexual women do. Sex differences found among heterosexuals appear to be reversed among homosexuals. Rivals become threatening when they display an equivalent or higher level of desirability.

There is much we do not know about emotions and gender. The chromosomal variations cross-cultural and social influences have yet to be differentiated scientifically. Studies of the gay brain may reveal that gay women and straight men or gay men and straight women may have a similar chromosome or brain structure variation. There is much yet to be discovered in the human brain regarding emotion, sexual orientation and or gender.

Salk Institute researcher Simon LeVay studied forty-one brains and found that part of the hypothalamus was smaller in gay men than in straight men - about only half the size. He also found that a tiny region of the hypothalamus, which is involved in sexual behaviors, was, in gay men, more like that found in women than in heterosexual men. He looked at four different grouping of cells, technically referred to as the interstitial nuclei of the anterior hypothalamus, or INAH. Others had already reported that INAH 2 and 3 were larger in men than in women. He found that the INAH-3 areas of most of the women and the gay men were about the same size. In straight men, this region was on average twice as large - about the size of a grain of sand.

Let the findings unravel,