Article Title: Perception of Emotional and Sexual Infidelity among Married Men and Women

Author(s): Anum Urooj, Anis-ul-Haque and Gulnaz Anjum

Institute(s): National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad; Institute of Social Psychology, Friedrich-Schiller University, Germany.

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 2015, Vol. 30, No. 2, 421-439

Correspondence Address: Anis-ul-Haque, National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. E-mail:


The current study was conducted to study the gender differences in the perception of commission of infidelity, the most distressing form of infidelity, and guilt feelings related to infidelity. Causes, approval, and consequences of emotional and sexual infidelity among married men and women were also examined. Initially, hypothetical scenarios (Buss, Larsen, Westen, & Semmelroth, 1992) which were culturally modified were used to collect data from 300 married participants. Results showed that men perceived to commit sexual infidelity more than women, whereas, women perceived to commit emotional infidelity more than men. Men perceived sexual infidelity and women perceived emotional infidelity to be the most distressing form of infidelity. Moreover, men did not perceive guilt in response to any kind of infidelity, whereas, women perceived guilt in response to both kinds of infidelity. Men perceived both emotional and sexual dissatisfaction to be the causes of infidelity, whereas, women considered emotional dissatisfaction to be the primary cause. Finally, men perceived sexual infidelity, whereas, women perceived emotional infidelity to be the most difficult to forgive form of infidelity.

Keywords. Perception, emotional infidelity, sexual infidelity, married couples, forced-choice method, hypothetical scenarios