When the majority of people hear the word “cheater,” they envision a man in their head. Men and women are both capable of having affairs, but men are dragged into the stereotype a lot more frequently than women!
Associate professor of sociology at Missouri State University, Alicia Walker, says: “We have this idea socially that men are cheaters, all men are susceptible to cheating, that men are dogs, right? But the data tells a very different story.”
So, with this in mind, let’s take a look at some statistics to see which gender is really more likely to engage in infidelity.
Research conducted in a study done by extramarital dating site, VictoriaMilan, and a global research company of over 100,000 married and attached people found that women were found likely to cheat at a rate of 1% more than men!
In light of the common misconception that men cheat more than women, VictoriaMilan’s research actually shows that women are just as bad — if not, more! The number of married and attached men cheating came in at 54%, while the number of cheating female spouses totalled a whopping 55%!
CEO of VictoriaMilan, Jenni-Lee Goldstein, released a statement saying: “Recently, we’ve been experiencing higher rates of women signing up than that of men!”
The Infidelity Gap is Closing
Yes — the infidelity gap does indeed seem to be closing!
Other evidence proves this very same point, just like Walker noticed from working on her book: The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife: Power, Pragmatism, and Pleasure in Women’s Infidelity. She discovered that women do seem to be cheating, at the very least, at the same rates as men.
So, as it turns out, the cheating wife is not so “abnormal” after all! The truth is that many more women are cheating than you actually think — the difference is, people just don’t like to talk about it or think about it. Think about it; you don’t necessarily want to imagine that your child’s innocent-looking school teacher or your friend’s wife is doing such a thing.
In reality, at the end of the day, you probably know a woman who’s cheating — you just don’t know that she’s doing so.
From what we can see, the percentages of men and women who have committed infidelity while in a relationship are pretty similar!
Why are women now becoming as unfaithful as men? Or maybe they always have been?
Why Are We Only Finding This Out Now?
So, why was there always this common misconception? Numbers of men having higher “cheat rates” may be skewed based on the number of people who were actually willing, to tell the truth about their acts of infidelity. So, it’s safe to say that, as a whole, both genders have a high potentiality of cheating on one another.
The other thing about data found from studies conducted in both the past and the present is that it is largely self-reported.
Do respondents of the surveys lie? Do the numbers about who gets caught cheating align with the actual numbers of cheating cases?
Tammy Nelson, a couples counsellor and author, further contends that there’s a reason to suspect that women may be not only cheating more but also getting away with it a lot more frequently.
Nelson states: “We don’t know if more men or more women are caught cheating, on average. But it would make sense that women are better at hiding their affairs. Traditionally women have faced harsher punishment for cheating.”
Times Are A-Changin’
Wow, well that could certainly explain a few things! In the past, the majority of women would have risked losing their financial support, their children, and in some countries — even their lives!
Sex therapist Candice Cooper-Lovett agrees with Nelson that women’s ability to hide secret affairs is at least somewhat adaptive. “A lot of women in my practice have shared that cheating was something that you take to the grave with you because men can’t handle cheating in the way that women do, or are expected to,” she explains.
Obviously, changes in traditional female roles have brought about integral changes in many other areas; and gender equality certainly covers a lot of ground.
The Role of Technology
But Ashley Thompson, director of the Sexuality and Relationship Science Lab at the University of Minnesota Duluth, says that there are definitely various different factors at play here.
For example, advances in technology play a massive role in the closing of the gender infidelity gap.
“Technology is making it easier for women — for everybody — to find extra-dyadic partners, whether it’s on VictoriaMilan or Tinder,” says Thompson. “I know people use Tinder for the same purpose, to find partners, even if they’re already in a relationship.”
In general, women just have many more opportunities now than they did in the past. In the old days, women were traditionally expected to be homemakers. While men were going off to work, they had vastly more opportunities to cheat. These days, on the other hand, we’re witnessing a huge increase in gender equality in many areas of life. Women are now out there in the workforce, and they’re gaining much more power and autonomy than ever before. Thompsons believes: “Women are engaging as much as men because now that opportunity is there.”
The Future of Relationships
Regardless of whether it was the man or the woman who cheated in a relationship, there is certainly hope for the future. With the help of sites like Marriage Booster, you can rebuild your trust, romance, and passion in your relationship; saving yourself from divorce or future cheating endeavours. This is a process that involves a lot of hard work and dedication, but it’s 100% worth the victory that results from it.
On the other hand, given the current levels of infidelity and divorce rates, could it be that traditional relationships are calling for a much-needed makeover? As sites like VictoriaMilan are certainly proving, a lifestyle of non-monogamy may very well be the future.