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User Topic: Women are catching up to men in infidelity
nomadlady
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Default  Posted: 2:49 PM, May 18th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

and I'm weirdly glad not because more women are cheating but because perhaps it will be a final death knell to past attitudes that men are biologically or genetically hardwired to not be monogamous or that women have to accept that that's just how men are (you know, boys will be boys).

Although gender differences in infidelity have been found in almost all past research, male and female rates of infidelity are becoming increasingly similar, particularly in younger cohorts in developed countries (Atkins et al., 2001; Choi et al., 1994; Laumann et al.1994; Feldman & Cauffman, 1999; Oliver & Hyde, 1993; Wiederman, 1997) Wiederman (1997) found no gender differences in extramarital sex among men and women under age 40. Seal and colleagues (1994) found that although men are more likely to report a desire to seek extradyadic partners, actual extra-dyadic sexual encounters show no gender
difference.

(Here's the link to the above paper if you're interested: http://www.helenfisher.com/downloads/articles/INFIDELITY.pdf.)

If men and women are cheating equally, then the idea that a particular gender is hardwired this way is out the window. Either both sexes are hardwired this way or neither sex is.

At any rate, maybe this can help decrease blameshifting (I'm a guy--it's just how we are) and stereotyping (men are dogs) and allow for more meaningful conversations about infidelity.

And, maybe, just maybe, this will reduce the amount of unhelpful, harmful, or downright batshit crazy advice from "authorities," such as one infamous religious leader who told a betrayed wife on television, "Stop talking about the cheating! He cheated on you. Well, he's a man...Like it or not, males have a tendency to wander a little bit, and what you want to do is make the home so wonderful that he doesn't want to wander."

ETA: The above was said on TV in 2013, not 1963!

[This message edited by nomadlady at 7:17 PM, May 18th (Sunday)]


DDay: 2013
In R

Posts: 87 | Registered: Oct 2013
mchercheur
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Member # 37735
Default  Posted: 3:09 PM, May 18th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

That whole school of thought that "men are just animals" who are driven to "sow their seed" is bullsh*t. Humans are supposedly civilized---i.e. we have a higher awareness. We have societal values & laws against stealing, murdering, etc. Almost all human cultures have some sort of ceremony for marriage & the vow of loyalty that it implies. Almost all human cultures, until our present day, valued the survival of the family unit above all else, & infidelity destroys families. We live in an unusual time where selfishness, entitlement, & instant gratification (me, me, me) are being promoted---to the detriment of the future of humankind.


Me: BW
Him: WH --Had 7 mo. PA with COW;
Married 20something years with kids
Trying to R

Posts: 1458 | Registered: Dec 2012
HoldingTogether
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Member # 29429
Default  Posted: 3:30 PM, May 18th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

And to think... I had imagined that nothing good could have come out of my wife sleeping with my best friend.

Glad to have been of help.

Seriously though, I get the point of the thread. Just maybe could have been titled a little better.

Sorry about the snark. Just set me a bit on edge. Turns out infidelity makes me cranky.


Me:BH 41
Her:FWW40(Walkinoneggshellz)
2 Beautiful little girls 13&10
Dday: 7/24/10 1yr EA turned 5 monthPA
"I gotta hole in me now... I got a scar I can talk about."

Posts: 519 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: New Life
StillGoing
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Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 4:04 PM, May 18th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm guessing it's less about catching up and more about increased awareness. It's not like the idea of a married woman cheating is new or anything. I expect the skewed numbers is more about the blanket acceptance of the statements "Men just cheat" or "Men are wired to have more than one mate."

The more widely understood how bullshit those statements are the more widely understood that generally in these situations there's a 1:1 ratio of penis to vagina.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7580 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
nomadlady
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Member # 41090
Default  Posted: 4:11 PM, May 18th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I know, I apologize for the provocative title. And you're not cranky...you're righteously (and rightfully) sensitive.

ETA: The mods have graciously edited the title for me.

[This message edited by nomadlady at 7:18 PM, May 18th (Sunday)]


DDay: 2013
In R

Posts: 87 | Registered: Oct 2013
Neithan
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Member # 35924
Default  Posted: 4:16 PM, May 18th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My readings on the research indicates that both genders cheat at about the same rate when both have equal opportunity to cheat. Seems infidelity is a human thing. A mix of rising ape and falling angel.


Me: BH
Her: WW
D-Day: 2/19/2010
Married 1981
That which does not kill me makes me more irritable

Posts: 341 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: Among the Gaurwaith
Lovedyoumore
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Default  Posted: 5:52 PM, May 18th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

In my H's A, there was him(50%) and the OW(50%). In hetero couples there is always a him and a her. If more men cheat, does that mean the fewer women who cheat are cheating more?


Me 52
WH 52
Married 30+ years
Together trying to R

I tell people I am tired but really my heart is broken and I am sad.


Posts: 1585 | Registered: May 2012 | From: Southern, bless your heart
mchercheur
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Member # 37735
Default  Posted: 6:23 PM, May 18th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think that the main idea that nomadlady was trying to address in this thread is that when a husband cheats, historically it has often been excused in many cultures because "you know how men are".
In some cultures, a man thinks he can prove how manly he is by how many women he has "scored".
Whereas, there is a different standard for women. In most cultures, women are looked at as whores if they sleep around.
Also, before the availability of contraception, women have traditionally been so shackled by having babies that they have not had the opportunities that they have now to get out into the world.


then the idea that a particular gender is hardwired this way is out the window. Either both sexes are hardwired this way or neither sex is.

At any rate, maybe this can help decrease blameshifting (I'm a guy--it's just how we are) and stereotyping (men are dogs) and allow for more meaningful conversations about infidelity.

And, maybe, just maybe, this will reduce the amount of unhelpful, harmful, or downright batshit crazy advice from "authorities,"

The truth is, infidelity has always existed for both genders, & has always been painful for those involved. We on this site are lucky that we now have the technological ability to be in touch & help each other thru it.

[This message edited by mchercheur at 6:36 PM, May 18th (Sunday)]


Me: BW
Him: WH --Had 7 mo. PA with COW;
Married 20something years with kids
Trying to R

Posts: 1458 | Registered: Dec 2012
StillGoing
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Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 7:32 PM, May 18th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

historically it has often been excused in many cultures because "you know how men are".

While true, there are thoughts that go the same when women cheat. "He couldn't keep her happy" and "The heart wants what the heart wants" are the lines trotted out when a woman cheats.

The problem IMO is not that one gender or the other is universally problematic, but that generally it's the BS that is demonized in some way. "She had to leave because he was a drunk" or "He was emotionally unavailable, what did he think was going to happen?"

Take a look at Bridges of Madison County or Eat, Pray, Love for the same kind of thought process.

It's not that the sentiment is incorrect - the idea that men are excused infidelity because of bullshit reasons - but the making excuses is not gender exclusive, either.

I am agreeing with this stuff, but I suppose in a slant-wise kind of way.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7580 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
yearsofpain25
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Member # 42012
Default  Posted: 7:46 PM, May 18th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Is it really women catching up? Or is it more that stats are catching up as more men speak up. Historically speaking men don't seek help like women do. We don't talk about our feelings. The whole manly thing that has been going on for years.

My dad never sought help so my mother's affair was never recorded. Same with my grandfather, my grandmother had several affairs and none of them were reported.

Really just playing devil's advocate here in saying that there really hasn't been a lot of "true" stats historically. I just think there are too many factors in play here.


25 years and counting of pain caused by mother's infidelity. Aftermath: 1 deceased sibling, 1 lost family, 3 lost souls.
"Each new day I am just glad to be alive and have survived all that I did." Ashland13

Posts: 2351 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Northeast US
nomadlady
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Default  Posted: 9:22 PM, May 18th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There are a lot of great points being made here.

We could argue all day about whether historically men cheated more than women or whether the data is missing/skewed. The point is we have data now that demonstrates the rates among men and women in developed nations are similar. Again, I'm not celebrating women cheating. I just want to see the cultural conversations about infidelity move completely away from tired cliches about the nature of men to something that's more meaningful and that's based on actual evidence. I think many of us on SI get that, but society at large hasn't entirely caught up.

StillGoing, you're right. The "new" set of excuses isn’t about biology but about entitlement. I’ve seen the excuses you mention so frequently to justify cheating by both genders. I actually find this situation preferable because a sense of entitlement can be potentially changed. When you use the biological/genetic excuse, the conversation dies because, hey, “it's just their nature--what can you do”? But negative attitudes and behaviors—that’s at least a starting point. I want to point out that I’m thinking about this as a social/cultural problem. I know at the individual level, there are plenty of us who have WS with entitlement issues with little hope that change is possible.


DDay: 2013
In R

Posts: 87 | Registered: Oct 2013
Credence
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Member # 42682
Default  Posted: 3:34 AM, May 19th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I want to point out that I’m thinking about this as a social/cultural problem
^^^This is exactly what it is. We are bombarded day in and day out with movies, tv shows, media and books which suggest that infidelity is acceptable either in the name of 'true love' (aka the fog) or when you feel neglected, under-appreciated or unloved. Society as a whole is becoming far more tolerant of infidelity and as a result infidelity is becoming more prevalent. The same goes for promiscuity (Sex And The City??)

Marriage doesn't mean what it used to. It used to be a lifelong commitment that people worked at whereas now, because divorce is so easy, people are more inclined to get married and just 'see how it goes'. I have heard the words 'if it doesn't work out we'll just get divorced' far too many times.

The number of working women has increased dramatically over the past 3-4 decades so there is far more workplace flirting and innuendo than ever before. How many A's start in the workplace?

The internet has opened up a whole new world of temptation for bored SAHM's and SAHD's who have the inclination to cheat. In fact, the internet has provided a platform for anyone, who is so inclined, to go out and have an A - it couldn't be any easier for a wayward.

There are so many factors that play a part in the prevalence of infidelity (for men and women alike) but the bottom line is people cheat because they want to (and they can).

IMO infidelity has got nothing to do with our genes and everything to do with our morals and standards. Perhaps women are 'catching up' now because they have equal opportunities to cheat and a changing perception of infidelity.


If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you always got

Posts: 183 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: UK
stronger08
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Member # 16953
Default  Posted: 4:42 AM, May 19th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't need to read any study to know that. I'm a long time member here. When I first joined there weren't that many males who actively posted here. You could probably have counted them on one hand. Now there is a shit load of us going through this nightmare. I personally think its a bit of both. More guys are willing to admit their wives have cheated on them. And more women are cheating. The concept of infidelity is glamorized by the media, while the fallout and all its ugliness is minimized. People who cheat, male or female are no longer looked at with distain and shame. In some social circles its actually a cause for celebration. And for those who do not indulge in the forbidden fruit, well they simply just look the other way. I know prior to my D-day I was guilty of it myself. I was surrounded by infidelity in my life and never once said a word about it. In fact being around cheaters was pretty much the norm in my line of work. A person really does not get how badly infidelity affects a person and society until it happens to them. I have been through some bad shit in my life. I come from a lower class of urban people, been surrounded by substance abuse, violence, poverty, overcrowding etc. I am even a 9-11 WTC survivor and none of that shit compares to the pain of infidelity. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.


You cant eat soup with chopsticks.

Posts: 5832 | Registered: Nov 2007
allatsea
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Member # 38923
Default  Posted: 5:05 AM, May 19th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Stronger,

I agree whole heartedly with all of your points -except one

I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy

I can think of two people in my life who I would wish this on


You can't fix crazy. All you can do is document it

Posts: 740 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: UK
StillGoing
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Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 6:15 AM, May 19th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

When you use the biological/genetic excuse, the conversation dies because, hey, “it's just their nature--what can you do”?

Well honestly it's probably easier to change that than it is a cultural thing but that just freaks people out too much to think about. "Hey look, we found the asshole gene, we can chemically castrate that with a few doses of anti-asshole pills" is for some reason more morally objectionable than it is to, say, give people amphetamines to attend a dopamine production deficiency re: ADD, for example.

I'm really just speculating before coffee there.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7580 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
cayc
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Default  Posted: 6:23 AM, May 19th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This thing of men being cheaters and women being chaste always puzzled me. After all who were all these men cheating with????


"I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship." - Louisa May Alcott

Posts: 3158 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Mexico
Sadmumma
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Default  Posted: 6:40 AM, May 19th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

^^^^ bingo


On any given day you have the power to say "my story is not going to end like this"
Me 41 BS
Him 41 WH
6 kids...7 weeks, 5,7,9,11&13
D day jan 29th 2014

Posts: 536 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Land down under
SeanFLA
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Member # 32380
Default  Posted: 7:14 AM, May 19th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I know this experience has awoken myself about people/relationships and it really saddens me. I doubt I will ever trust anyone ever again unconditionally. I will never entangle my finances with someone ever again. At this point I will most likely never want to marry again. It's not so much I don't trust women, I just don't trust people. I didn't think there was this much evil in the world within your own household. Either men or women...everyone has their own agenda. And putting your spouse through this pain is the granddaddy of selfishness. My struggle continues with how people view me because my wife cheated, was unremorseful and filed for divorce. She justified her cheating with blameshifting and god knows what she told others about me to save face.

I've read the statistics and I do believe women cheat just as much as men. Mine used her work travel schedule as cover to hide it. I myself work traveled for 12 years. I never cheated. I just don't have it in me to do it. And yes I've had my temptations during travel if I wanted to. Instead I just walked away and removed myself from the situation. What bothers me most is what was going through her mind as she was undressing and beginning the initial act. All while I was at my son's xmas pageant and she told me it was extremely important to handle this emergency business trip. Was this really the only time she's done this? The more time goes on the more I think not. If it was did the stars really align themselves just right so I would find out? Somehow given her unremorsefulness I doubt it now. I truly believe If it really was a one time thing, God set this up for me to discover for a reason. Most times I think my healing centers more around the fact that she did this and getting past what others think of me now. That I couldn't keep her happy, so I deserved it.


BS(me) 48
WW 46
1 son 14 yrs old
Married 18 yrs, together 21 yrs

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." ~ Bob Marley


Posts: 1472 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: Zombie Land
JanaGreen
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Default  Posted: 9:18 AM, May 19th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If more men cheat, does that mean the fewer women who cheat are cheating more?

That's always kind of been my thought. I mean, I know that single OM exist, but I know of more single OW and the ones that I know of have tended to have more than one affair, sadly.


We're both in our 30s. One awesome 5-year-old daughter. Baby Green 2.0 expected June 2015!!!!!!!!!

Posts: 6937 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
karmahappens
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Default  Posted: 9:22 AM, May 19th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh thank goodness!

Now all those poor men can stop cheating by themselves.


“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”
Anaïs Nin
Me: 45
Him: 47
Dday 8/2007
We have R'd

Posts: 3858 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: Massachusetts
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