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Original scientific paper

Sexual Jealousy

David M. Buss ; Department of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin, USA

Fulltext: english, PDF (191 KB) pages 155-182 downloads: 7.653* cite
APA 6th Edition
Buss, D.M. (2013). Sexual Jealousy. Psihologijske teme, 22 (2), 155-182. Retrieved from
MLA 8th Edition
Buss, David M.. "Sexual Jealousy." Psihologijske teme, vol. 22, no. 2, 2013, pp. 155-182. Accessed 22 Jan. 2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Buss, David M.. "Sexual Jealousy." Psihologijske teme 22, no. 2 (2013): 155-182.
Buss, D.M. (2013). 'Sexual Jealousy', Psihologijske teme, 22(2), pp. 155-182. Available at: (Accessed 22 January 2020)
Buss DM. Sexual Jealousy. Psihologijske teme [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2020 January 22];22(2):155-182. Available from:
D.M. Buss, "Sexual Jealousy", Psihologijske teme, vol.22, no. 2, pp. 155-182, 2013. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 22 January 2020]

Sexual jealousy is a basic emotion. Although it lacks a distinctive facial expression and is unlikely to solve problems of survival, it evolved because it solves adaptive problems of mating. Some adaptive functions are similar in men and women at one level of abstraction, such as warding off potential mate poachers and deterring relationship defection. Other functions are sex-differentiated, such as increasing paternity probability for men and monopolizing a mate's economic commitments for women. Dozens of studies have documented sex-differentiated design features of jealousy: The relative upset about sexual and emotional aspects of infidelity; processing speed and memorial recall of sexual and emotional infidelity cues; physiological distress to sexual and emotional infidelity cues; qualities of same-sex rivals that evoke jealousy, such as superior job prospects versus greater physical attractiveness; triggers of mate retention tactics; jealous interrogations following the discovery of infidelity; and whether an infidelity produces forgiveness or breakup. Although showing all the hallmarks of evolved functionality, sexual jealousy also leads to tremendous destruction, from humiliation to homicide. By these scientific theoretical and empirical criteria, sexual jealousy is properly considered not only "basic" but also "one of the most important emotions".

jealousy; infidelity; emotion; evolution; mate retention

Hrčak ID: 108507


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