Does gender play any role in determining who has more affairs? This may seem like a strange question, but a little research proves that the answer is somewhat surprising. Many people make the automatic assumption that it’s men who stray from the path more often than women. After all, this is the picture that society has painted for us. But as it turns out, that isn’t the case at all.
Men and women apparently cheat at about the same rate. (Surprised? You’re not alone!) So if cheating isn’t a gender thing, what is? According to research conducted by Kristen Mark, Ph.D at Indiana University, men and women cheat in equal numbers, the data says. What makes this an interesting subject is the fact that research has also revealed that men and women cheat for different reasons. So frequency of infidelity isn’t dictated to by gender, it seems, but the reasons certainly are.
While cheating was (unsurprisingly) linked to a lack of relationship satisfaction for both men and women, the driving force behind the men who cheated is distinctly different from that of the women. Men, research showed, cheat to gain sexual satisfaction, while women cheat for emotional satisfaction.
According to Mark’s results, men who were dissatisfied with their sex lives, or viewed themselves as highly sexualised people, were much more likely to be unfaithful. For women, the reasons were more commonly tied to feelings of incompatibility and lack of intimacy in a relationship.
The reasons for WHY people have affairs is affected by gender.
Other factors driving the decision to cheat included fear of consequences and anxiety about sexual performance. Logically, those who feared the consequences of illicit sex, like pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, were less likely to cheat.
The opposite appears to be true about sexual anxiety. People who reported having more anxiety about their performance between the sheets were actually more likely to seek out something on the side, perhaps because the thrill involved increased the chances of a better performance. Or perhaps because they had something to prove to themselves about their own ability.
So if you’re looking for somewhere to point a finger when it comes to who has more affairs, you will be hard pressed to find one gender group more guilty than the other. On the other hand, if you are wondering about the reasons behind why people stray from their marriages, risking divorce, then the answers are far more complex.
With this in mind, it’s important to remember that many marriage do not survive affairs, and the majority of affairs end up being discovered. So if you are sneaking out on your spouse, you may want to stop and consider your reasons. Then ask yourself if you hope to stay married. If the answer is yes, then perhaps it’s time to consider couples therapy instead of self-medicating with illicit sex that is highly likely to land you in divorce court.
If however, you are the one on the receiving end of someone else’s unfaithfulness, and you’ve decide that your marriage isn’t worth saving in the wake of your spouse’s affair, come and talk to us. Our highly skilled and compassionate family law attorneys can help you work out all of the details for your future, from divorce settlements and custody agreements, to spousal support and parenting time. Call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 at any time of day or night. We are here for you.