Research on Gender and Cheating

Who Does More Cheating – Men or Women?

Determining who does more cheating between men and women can be a very challenging task.  This is because we still don’t have enough statistics that could give us a definite answer.  One major problem encountered by research studies conducted on infidelity is the question of honesty of the chosen respondents.

So far, men still appear to outnumber the women in the subject of infidelity.  The age-old explanation says that men are more prone to infidelity because they are physical beings while women are not naturally inclined towards infidelity because they are emotional beings.  In simpler words, a man cheats because of a sex problem in the relationship or he wants more or new sex while a woman cheats because of lack of respect, attention and support from her husband.  Such is the general picture.

In surveys and polls conducted, the nature of men and women again comes into play.  While men tend to inflate the actual numbers of their affairs as well as sexual partners, women on the other hand, tend to downplay their extramarital escapades.  By some need to boost their ego, men appear to be proud of their sex adventures while women hide theirs, because of the typical expectation of society on a woman’s sexual behavior, which still remains relatively conservative compared to the expectations on men.  Some even measure manhood in relation to the number of partners maintained and the number of offspring produced from such relations.

Men and women also have preconceived ideas of each other when it comes to matters of infidelity.  Women perceive men as cheaters more than they do other women.  Men say that women cheat as much as men do.  In these modern times, men and women do appear to be cheating in equal numbers with the only probable difference being the manner in which the cheating is carried out.  Men are known to cheat with several sexual partners in shorter periods while women tend to involve themselves in longer term extramarital relationships with a single partner.

The equalization in numbers has a lot to do with the opportunities presented to both.  With many women having careers of their own, they are exposed to the same risk and temptation offered to men in the workplace.  During the time when men had most of these opportunities to themselves because most women stayed at home to take care of the family, men hold the record in terms of number of infidelity cases.

It is not so now.  Careers provide women the means to take care of themselves physically and an acceptable reason to be out of the house and out of sight of her husband and family.  A husband who is earning well also has more opportunities opened to him such as travel, time-off from work and the extra cash to maintain an affair.

An interesting result of one study is that men in rich countries are generally more faithful than their poorer counterparts due to the threat of severe punishment that may come in the form of losing a marriage, status, assets and self-respect.  Another interesting study shows that women in poor countries cheat infrequently having less financial and social clout than their husbands.  Wealthier countries are also said to have a lower level of infidelity but gender division appears to be fairly equal.  These findings provide a glimpse of how opportunity and access to it can possibly hold the key to totally understanding infidelity.

Do men really cheat more than women or are women just better at keeping secrets?  Whatever the case may be, any person, man or woman, will cheat if given the “right” reason to do so which can range from simple physical needs to the more elaborate emotional needs.  This is why partners should continually work on their relationships so that no reason could ever be right enough to cheat.

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