Is Sexual Infidelity Worse Than Emotional?


Do people feel worse when they are cheated on physically rather than emotionally? If a person is really in love, then either type of infidelity would hurt them greatly. The effects that results from such matters of the heart can be hard to measure precisely. But recently researchers have dived into the subject to find out real evidence.

   Science Daily published an article in early 2015 that contained remarks from David Fredrick, Ph. D., a professor at Chapman University. He led a study that examined 64,000 Americans (of all genders and sexual orientations) and how they honestly would feel about both types of cheating. Dr. Fredrick said that heterosexual men were the group that stood out the most, noting that they were the ones to get more jealous over sexual than emotional cheating. I intend to indicate two more points to further prove that they are correct in this article.

   Sex Can Result in Pregnancy

   Men can sometimes be driven by pride and/or ego when it comes to their girlfriend or wife having eyes for another man. It is a well-believed notion that men are physical creatures and women are emotional; the recent study from above backs up that assumption. 65% of the heterosexual women who were involved in it said they would be more upset over emotional cheating versus 46% of heterosexual men who were asked the same question. Still, the fact that there were that many guys who admitted that their lady’s feelings being given to another person would actually hurt shows that lots of men still appreciate emotions and passion in their relationships.

   It is still important to pay attention to the times that today’s lovers live in when examining what is the worst between sexual and emotional infidelity. This is 2016, and a guy’s girlfriend could actually end up cheating with either sex these days. A man who is in a deep relationship could possibly feel different if their lady cheated with a woman instead of a man.

   Many people get the idea that guys are only more upset with sexual cheating because it is seemingly ingrained more deeply into their physical nature. But when a woman tells her main sexual partner that she is pregnant, there are lots of different emotions that can run through a man. Being that this essay is about committed relationships and not flings, a man who is dedicated to his lady could possibly automatically believe that the child is his. But, the truth is that it matters greatly whether or not a couple is legally married when considering taking a paternity test.

   Men do not ever want to be put in a situation where they have to ask their wife if the baby is biologically his, whether it is before or after the child is born. That is why emotional cheating is not as bad as sexual…the repercussions that could result from his girlfriend just having a crush on some other guy aren’t anywhere near as bad as if she actually slept with him. If she comes to her husband and admits that she had intercourse with another man, he may forgive her if he really loves her that much and still feels that the two of them can get counseling and eventually work through it. But, if a few weeks pass and she later says that she is a month or so pregnant, then that husband would be in a stressful situation.


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   The next nine months would be very emotionally damaging to a husband. He cares for his wife, but at the same time he is under the same roof with a woman who may be carrying a child that is not his. He may respect her for her honesty in saying that she stepped out on him, but the emotions of anger and deceit will likely be inevitable in the man’s heart. There have been many cases where men have gone for decades not knowing that he was not the father, because he and his wife were married at the time that she got pregnant. Situations like this can scar a faithful man for life.

   Sex Can Result in Transferred STI’s & STD’s

   One of the most obvious signs that someone in a relationship has been physically cheating is if something is brought back from outside of the relationship. An act of sexual infidelity is way crueler than emotional because simply having unclean feelings for another person (whether it is the male or the female who is guilty of this) cannot result in contracted viruses. STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) and STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) are the second reason why physical attraction will always be worse than simply having impure thoughts about another.

   It is really important that if someone knowingly has caught a disease after stepping out on their mate that they inform them about it. If they had simply fantasized about the man or woman and left it there, then they could have kept their dirty thoughts to themselves with no repercussions. But now they have to verbally tell their partner, especially if it is a deadly disease, because there can be criminal consequences if they do not. HIV/AIDS is the STD that most of the laws (which vary from state to state) seem to circle around the most.

   No matter which state a person is located in, the consequences for passing along HIV/AIDS “recklessly” or “intentionally” are about the same. If it is found to be a misdemeanor, the boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife who did it could get up to a year in jail; if it is considered a felony they can get up to a life sentence. Sometimes the fines for this crime can reach up to the ten thousands. And, if a person does purposefully give a sexual partner HIV, they will have to sign up for their state’s sex offender registry.

   Physically cheating on a partner could also result in STI’s, common infections that can be easily transferred to the one they love after having a sexual affair. About 19 million new infection cases come up annually in the U.S., and many of these people were actually faithful in their relationships and caught them because of a physically cheating partner. Some of the most common ones are Chlamydia (which causes an abnormal vagina discharge in women and burning urine in both sexes), Genital Herpes (when there are red bumps, blisters, or open sores around the penis or vagina), Pubic Lice (which are sometimes referred to as crabs and cause itching like head lice but in the genital area), Syphillis (rashes with reddish-brown sores that can spread to other areas of the body including the mouth) and Gonorrhea (which also causes painful urination for both sexes). If a person physically cheats and feels any of these symptoms, they should go to a doctor immediately, and inform their partner of any news that may affect them and their health.

   Although intercourse during an affair is much worse than just emotional attraction to another person, any type of infidelity can be hurtful. More people should think about the real consequences (pregnancy or diseases that could affect their relationship afterwards) before they decide they want to secretly, simultaneously sleep with someone else.




7 Jan 2015. Research on Jealousy: Impact of Sexual vs. Emotional Infidelity. Science Daily. Retrieved from


Theoharis, M. 2015. Transmitting an STD: Criminal Laws and Penalties. Nolo. Retrieved from


McGraw, P. 2015. When an Affair Results in Pregnancy. Retrieved from


Craven, N. 18 Jan 2013. I Have Been Robbed of Ever Having Children. Daily Mail UK. Retrieved from



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