Why are some people more jealous than others? Genetic and environmental factors

Kupfer, T.R. ORCID: 0000-0003-1147-6082, Sidari, M.J., Zietsch, B.P., Jern, P., Tybur, J.M. and Wesseldijk, L.W., 2022. Why are some people more jealous than others? Genetic and environmental factors. Evolution and Human Behavior, 43 (1), pp. 26-33. ISSN 1090-5138

1523834_Kupfer.pdf - Published version

Download (449kB) | Preview


Research on romantic jealousy has traditionally focused on sex differences. We investigated why individuals vary in romantic jealousy, even within the sexes, using a genetically informed design of ~7700 Finnish twins and their siblings. First, we estimated genetic, shared environmental and nonshared environmental influences on jealousy, Second, we examined relations between jealousy and several variables that have been hypothesized to relate to jealousy because they increase the risk (e.g., mate-value discrepancy) or costs (e.g., restricted sociosexuality) of infidelity. Jealousy was 29% heritable, and non-shared environmental influences explained the remaining variance. The magnitude and sources of genetic influences did not differ between the sexes. Jealousy was associated with: having a lower mate value relative to one's partner; having less trust in one's current partner; having been cheated by a previous or current partner; and having more restricted sociosexual attitude and desire. Within monozygotic twin pairs, the twin with more restricted sociosexual desire and less trust in their partner than his or her co-twin experienced significantly more jealousy, showing that these associations were not merely due to the same genes or family environment giving rise to both sociosexual desire or trust and jealousy. The association between sociosexual attitude and jealousy was predominantly explained by genetic factors (74%), whereas all other associations with jealousy were mostly influenced by nonshared environmental (non-familial) factors (estimates >71%). Overall, our findings provide some of the most robust support to date on the importance of variables predicted by mate-guarding accounts to explain why people vary in jealousy.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Evolution and Human Behavior
Creators: Kupfer, T.R., Sidari, M.J., Zietsch, B.P., Jern, P., Tybur, J.M. and Wesseldijk, L.W.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: January 2022
Volume: 43
Number: 1
ISSN: 1090-5138
S1090513821000611Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 10 Mar 2022 10:34
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2022 15:06
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/45842

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year