—Robert Weiss, 2006
Last week I published a blog on why men cheat. The piece generated an unexpectedly overwhelming response from all sides, with one of the main comments being, “It’s not just men who cheat.” And that statement is absolutely correct! Our cultural stereotypes tell us that it is usually men who step out on wives or girlfriends, but research actually indicates that nearly as many women cheat as men. And it does take two to dance the infidelity tango.
Studies on modern Western culture universally suggest that between 10 and 20 percent of men and women in marriages and other committed, long-term relationships are sexually unfaithful to their spouse or significant other. Interestingly, the reasons men and women cheat often differ by gender, and these reasons tend to parallel our general understanding of male versus female sexuality.
For example, when actively viewing pornography, males are typically more aroused by a rapid-fire succession of visual images, objectified body parts, and concrete sexual acts, whereas females tend to be more responsive to sexual imagery that includes some kind of emotional connection.