Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Mexican American Girls’ Reactions to Boyfriends’ Infidelity

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Abstract

This qualitative study examines how Mexican American girls define and respond to partner infidelity. In-depth interviews with 24 Mexican American girls, ages 14–18, formed the basis of this study. Although girls variously defined cheating, the majority believed that girls should break up with boyfriends who are physically intimate with an outside partner. Yet, the girls’ real world experiences revealed a more nuanced understanding of how girls actually respond to partner infidelity. While most girls who had been cheated on immediately broke up with their partners, they were also quite likely to reconcile with them for a variety of reasons. Emotional and sexual health implications for relationship cycling---defined as breaking up, getting back together, and breaking up again---are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-227
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

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