Vanda L. Zammuner, Carlotta Zorzi

Jealousy, love and violence: beliefs about men's jealousy and their implications

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Jealousy, love, violence, beliefs

The hypotheses that jealousy is equated with love in people's beliefs, and that this equation influences people's perception of violent acts a husband might inflict upon his wife were tested in an experimental study. Stimuli were scenarios descriptive of events that either typi- cally elicit jealousy (a wife's flirt or sexual betrayal) or are «innocuous», and of the husband's reaction to them - jealousy, no reaction, hit wife, rape wife. For each stimulus (event and husband's reaction to it), subjects - 120 young people (50% male) - evaluated the husband and his marriage along several dimensions (e.g., romantic love, marriage duration, compre- hensibility of his reaction). The results confirmed that jealousy is considered synonymous with love, and this belief lessens in part the negativity of a husband's violent behaviour, even in cases of rape.

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