competition hurts women more than men at the workplace. However, a
rival's social skills provoke jealousy and envy equally in both
sexes, shows a recent study.
Researchers from the universities of Valencia (Spain), Groningen
(the Netherlands) and Palermo (Argentina), analysed the
differences between men and women regarding envy and jealousy at
"Women with a high level of intrasexual competition are more
jealous if the rival is more attractive and more envious if the
rival is more powerful and dominating," said Rosario Zurriaga,
study co-author from the University of Valencia, the journal
Revista de Psicologia Social reports.
Jealousy is a threat or loss of success in a relationship due to
interference from a rival and implies a loss or threat of loss of
what they had. Envy is a response to another person who has
success, skills or qualities that they desire and involves a lack
in comparison to the envied person, according to a Valencia
Researchers "did not get any results in men, as no rival
characteristics that provoke jealousy or envy predicted
intrasexual competition", added Zurriaga.
Intrasexual rivalry is competition with other people of the same
sex caused by the desire to obtain and keep access to the opposite
sex. Zurriaga, together with researchers from Groningen and
Palermo, analysed this type of rivalry using questionnaires given
to 200 subjects.
From those, they finally chose 114 -- "a large enough sample as it
is an exploratory study", said Zurriaga. They distinguished
between two emotions: jealousy and envy.
According to their results, sexual competition generally causes
more jealousy and envy in women. However, rivals' social skills
provoke both emotions, both in men and women. "This result shows
the importance of social skills in work environments," Zurriaga
"Our research intends to clarify the role of emotions like envy
and jealousy at work. These feelings have not been studied in
working contexts and can cause stress in workers and negatively
affect the quality of working life," Zurriaga added.