Women Cheating Is On the Rise...Wonder Why?
10/23/2012 3:34:00 PM
Yestserday I told you the news: women are creeping as much as the men - or close to it. And yes, there’s a statistic to back it up. The Wall Street Journal over the weekend dropped dime based on a 2011 study from Indiana University, the Kinsey Institute and the University of Guelph, which found 23% of men are cheating as well as 19% of women.
So not much difference.
One writer for the WJ points out more women are actively seeking affairs with reasons that include: validation of their attractiveness, emotional connection, appreciation, ego, and the thrill of it. Researchers also point to other factors that might be leading women to stray more. One is what might be called “infidelity overload,” particularly on TV. And with some women portrayed as the perpetrators, female infidelity has become more acceptable. And let's not forget work! Promotions with more exposure to different men, more travel, and more late nights on the job mean that the chances and temptations to stray have multiplied for the new generation of working women. And then, times have changed. According to a Match.com study from earlier this year, it concluded women are becoming less traditional about relationships. 77% of women in a committed relationship said they needed personal space, as opposed to 58% of men. While 35% of women wanted regular nights out with friends, only 23% of men said the same. But need some more insights into common reasons why women have affairs? As a special for WebMd, Tammy Worth gives us a few:
Men are more likely to cite sexual motivations for infidelity and are less likely to fall in love with an extramarital partner, says Helen Fisher, PhD, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University and the author of "Why Him? Why Her? and Why We Love".Women tend to have an emotional connection with their lover and are more likely to have an affair because of loneliness, Fisher says."Women tend to be more unhappy with the relationship they are in ... while men can be a lot happier in their primary relationship and also cheat," Fisher tells WebMD. "Women are more interested in supplementing their marriage or jumping ship than men are -- for men, it is a secondary strategy as opposed to an alternate."
The theory that adultery is "natural" for men, fulfilling their Darwinian need to spread their seed, has been around a long time. But the connection women look for when having affairs may have evolutionary roots as well. The theory, Fisher says, is that from the earliest days, women paired with a primary mate to have children. But as women went out to gather food, they slept with other men, creating an insurance policy -- to have someone who would help rear children and provide resources should their mate die. That theory is controversial and can’t be proven or disproven eons later. But experts say that women's motivations to have affairs are typically more than sexual. That's not to say that some women don't have affairs just for the sex or that sex wasn't important -- but in general, women's motivations aren't just about sex."I don't think women are doing it because they want to have more sex, but I don't think they mind if they get it," Reilly says. "It is not really about sex per se as much as the experience of being with somebody."
Using another partner to transition out of a bad marriage is one of the common reasons women have affairs. But some women have affairs during periods of vulnerability or life change, like when a child goes off to college or after a job loss. They may see it as a form of comfort during upheaval. Another common reason is a cry for help in the marriage.
Accidental or On Purpose
Women are also less likely than men to have an affair that "just happens," because they tend to think longer and harder about the situation, experts say.Some women take time " to warm up to it," says Marcella Weiner, EdD, PhD, an adjunct professor at Marymount Manhattan College in Brooklyn, N.Y. "Going in and leaving quickly isn't their thing. Men can walk away more easily, because their emotions are just different and it is unusual for a woman who wants to have sex and forget about it." Women really can recognize the risk for them, pointing to the possibility of losing their partner because of an affair.
Okay...so not lecturing but gotta say something! Real talk – true love is hard to find, friends. Don’t let the impulse to cheat overcome your desire to have a faithful and frutiful commitment. If you need to step out, step away from your relationship. It’s only fair.