Tears or sex after a tiff?

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

THERE are two sides to ev­ery ar­gu­ment – and, it seems, to patch­ing things up af­ter­wards.

For men and women want very dif­fer­ent types of apol­ogy fol­low­ing a tiff, re­searchers claim.

She wants him to cry and spend qual­ity time with her, to show he is emo­tion­ally in­vested in the re­la­tion­ship... while he just wants her to of­fer him sex.

The dif­fer­ent ex­pec­ta­tions of each part­ner after an ar­gu­ment have been de­tailed by US psy­chol­o­gist Dr Joel Wade.

Wade, of Buck­nell Univer­sity in Penn­syl­va­nia, asked 36 men and 38 women who took part in an on­line sur­vey to spec­ify what they would do, group­ing the re­sponses into 21 pos­si­ble be­hav­iours.

These were then sug­gested to an­other group, com­pris­ing 41 men and 123 women, who were asked to rate how ef­fec­tive they would con­sider each strat­egy.

Wade, whose find­ings are pub­lished in the jour­nal Evo­lu­tion­ary Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence, found that men said the most ef­fec­tive way for a part­ner to say sorry was by giv­ing or re­ceiv­ing sex­ual favours.

How­ever, women rated a part­ner spend­ing time with them, apol­o­gis­ing and cry­ing, as the best way to make up.

Wade said his find­ings showed “par­tial sup­port for our pre­dic­tion that men and women would dif­fer by which rec­on­cil­i­a­tion tac­tics they rate as most ef­fec­tive”.

He added: “These find­ings are con­sis­tent with prior re­search show­ing that men are more likely to ex­pel a mate due to sex­ual in­ac­ces­si­bil­ity.”

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