That's the first question the latest infidelity studies point to. The second is: If you cheated on your spouse, would you even admit it to a researcher?
Historically, the male sex gets most of the flak when it comes to infidelity among spouses. But that could be due to those tired old gender roles we're cast in. A recent New York Times report implies that women may simply be more likely to lie about it for that very reason. Research professor of anthropology at Rutgers Helen E. Fisher suggests that, "Men want to think women don't cheat, and women want men to think they don't cheat, and therefore the sexes have been playing a little psychological game with each other." Fun!
"Is it that men are bragging about it and women are lying to everybody including themselves?" she asks. Makes sense. After all, it's no secret that the widely held double standard that men who cheat are "studs" while women are "sluts" is still disturbingly prevalent.
Still, the changes in the landscape of cheating have surprised researchers who have found that infidelity is on the rise and "women appear to be closing the adultery gap: younger women appear to be cheating on their spouses nearly as often as men."
That's not to say that the guys are entirely off the hook. Medical advances like Viagra and erectile dysfunction remedies ensure that those with XY chromosomes can cheat longer and um, stronger. But when it comes to the younger set, women may be finding more opportunities to cheat via interoffice affairs and the good 'ole World Wide Web. While men might be content to "stray" by looking at porn--a relatively benign form of infidelity in the grand scheme of things--Atlanta psychiatrist Dr. Frank Pittman notes that he's observed more women acknowledging sexual affairs that began with electronic contact born out of the desire to emotionally connect with someone on a more intimate (and therefore stereotypically "feminine") level.
So yes, it would appear that women certainly cheat more than they're usually given credit for. (Of course, who wants to take credit for something as damaging as an extramarital affair?) But when it comes to our original second question pertaining to the idea that the fairer sex is more likely to lie about it due to societal double standards, one wonders if the modern woman has just become more open about her transgressions than in the past?
In the absence of hard and fast numbers--as opposed to all this admittedly speculative research--when it comes to adultery, here's the real question for the ladies out there: Have you ever cheated and well, kept mum about the damn thing? (As opposed to say, bragging about your conquests in the locker room or whatever?)
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