In romantic interactions, psychopathic men exhibit increased levels of sexual coercion and suspicious jealousy

In romantic interactions, psychopathic men exhibit increased levels of sexual coercion and suspiciou ...

A recently published research demonstrates that men with higher levels of psychopathic traits are more likely to commit sexual coercion and express suspicious jealousy in their romantic relationships. The research, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, highlights the need for further research and interventions to better understand sexual coercion in intimate relationships.

"Not a lot of information is available on how men with elevated psychopathic traits function within their romantic relationships," said research author Kristopher Brazil.

“Two streams of research influenced the topic of sexual coercion in relationships. First, psychopathy has been linked with higher levels of mating effort, which captures the time and energy organisms devote to mating success, and we wanted to investigate a component of mating effort that involves acquiring new mates.

"The second stream of research is the connection between psychopathy and sexual coercion." "But here again, most studies have focused on sexual coercion against strangers or acquaintances, and less have looked at sexual coercion of partners."

According to evolutionary perspectives, men who coerce their partners may be suspicious of them cheating. They are (not necessarily conscious) therefore attempting to increase their paternal assurance that the union will produce children.

The researchers conducted a survey with a total of 296 participants, consisting of 148 heterosexual couples, stating that they have been in a committed heterosexual relationship for at least six months.

Through a secure website, participants completed psychopathy, jealousy, and sexual coercion tests. They were asked to provide their responses separately, without knowing their partners' specific answers.

The researchers assessed the variables of interest using several tools. The Self-Report Psychopathy Scale: Short Form 4 is a tool that measures psychopathic traits like deception, grandiosity, callousness, and aggression.

The Multidimensional Jealousy Scale, which includes subscales for emotional, cognitive, and behavioral forms of jealousy, was used to assess men's willingness to engage in sexual coercion in their current intimate relationship.

The researchers collected demographic information such as age, gender, and relationship length from both men and women.

In their assessments of the same constructs, men and women agreed on the same things (e.g. male jealousy). This suggests that partners were similar in their assessments of these variables, although they weren't identical.

Men's self-reported psychopath traits were linked to sexual coercion and suspicious jealousy, according to the researchers. "A lot of people are'suckers,' and are easy to fool," and "I suspect that [my partner] is attracted to someone else."

Men's psychopathic traits were also linked to women's reports of sexual coercion and suspicious jealousy, according to reports. This suggests that men with psychopathic traits are more likely to resort to manipulative or forceful methods in their relationships and have increased anxieties of distrust and control over their partners.

Brazil said: "Some psychopathy theories presume that individuals with psychopathic traits will be unaffected emotionally and psychologically by others." "However, men higher in psychopathy displayed more suspicious jealousy, suggesting that they are more concerned and/or insecure about their partner's honesty, but also that they are averse to others."

Psychopathic individuals may not be completely unaffected by others, according to one study. It is possible that being suspicious of a partner's infidelity might increase the tendency to engage in sexual coercion.’

When it came to the correlation between men's psychopathy and reactive jealousy, male respondents failed to find a connection, whereas women's reports indicated that men with higher psychopathic traits were perceived to have lower levels of reactive jealousy by their partners. This variation suggests that women who are in relationships with psychopathic men are less emotionally affected by jealousy-inducing situations.

Suspiden jealousy mediated the interaction between men's psychopath traits and sexual coercion, according to the study. Suspiden jealousy plays a significant role in the decision-making process of engaging in coercive sexual acts.

Brazil said that men who have psychopathic traits are more likely to enter romantic relationships once they have them, often using charm, energy, and confidence. Members of the public should be aware of both the positive, charming aspects of psychopathy and the negative, coercive aspects.

The inclusion of control variables, such as relationship length and age, in both men's and women's reports models did not alter the findings concerning psychopathic traits, jealousy, and relationship sexual coercion. However, the research, as all research, includes some limitations. For instance, the findings may not apply to other populations, such as incarcerated men.

Brazil says it's important to investigate the romantic relationships of men who are in prison. "Psychopathic traits tend to be higher in offender populations."

Overall, the study underscores the need for further research and interventions to understand the dynamics between psychopathic traits, jealousy, and sexual coercion in intimate relationships.

Brazil explained that studying psychopathy's evolutionary features should not lull us into thinking that it has an adverse impact on the lives of others. We may be better equipped to prevent it from developing in the first place by gaining an understanding of its evolutionary and non-evolutionary features.

Kristopher J. Brazil, Gavin Vance, Virgil Zeigler-Hill, and Todd K. Shackelford co-authored the paper, "Men's Psychopathy and Mating Effort in Intimate Relationships: Links with Jealousy and Sexual Coercion."

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