Evolution of Jealousy Romantic jealousy has inspired poetry, drama and… murder. But what’s the science behind jealousy?
• Two decades ago, jealousy was considered a pathological state, a social consequence of a capitalistic society.
• Evolutionary psychologists now believe that jealousy evolved as an important survival adaptation, going way back to the Pleistocene epoch.
• David Buss argues for an emotional cognitive module with innate gender differences: men are more prone to sexual jealousy while women respond more strongly to emotional jealousy.
• Apparently, early man faced a serious Darwinian threat of cuckoldry..if he wasn’t sure that he was the baby daddy, he ran the risk of expending scarce resources on propagating another man’s genes. Women on the other hand, worried that their mate might philander resources on another woman (and her children)..hence an innate wiring for emotional jealousy.
• Newer explanations suggest that differences are more personal..individuals who prize their autonomy over commitment are likely to feel sexual jealousy, whereas others who are more securely attached in relationships (including men) are susceptible to emotional jealousy.
• All this may be moot, since jealousy arises in babies, long before thoughts of romance! Sibling rivalry, anyone?
• Yeah, this was basically an excuse for me to post Jealous Guy. 🙂 Enjoy!