Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Times Says: Women Cheat More?

Congratulations, women! In an article in today's Times, Tara Parker-Pope reports that research has begun to show that we ladies are closing the cheating gap. Researchers reported several findings, including that, in the same sample, the rate at which women reported having sex outside their marriages increased five-fold when they took computerized questionnaires versus in-person interviews.

Both men and women in newish marriages are cheating, too: 20% of men and 15% of women under 35 have cheated. The studies don't ask when people cheat, so it's impossible to say whether women cheat mid-marriage or closer to the end. But other research has shown that cheating by men tends not to end a relationship but that cheating by women--either because men can't forgive women or because women cheat when they want out--leads to divorce.

As I always say...sexual behavior at the population level does not change significantly over time. So, no, I don't think women are cheating more. I think they're reporting more honestly. And this research also doesn't distinguish between couples that choose to be nonmonogamous--through swinging or some other arrangement--or outright cheating.

But for married people, more sex with more partners is probably just what the doctor ordered. Just sayin'.


TS said...

I'd be curious about what they define as infidelity. The article doesn't mention the questions asked, so it where does "infidelity" start? Flirting? Making out? Anal? Different relationships have different standards, after all.

Go-To Girl said...

i totally agree. they also don't ask if people had sex (like, swingers or open relationships) with the permission of their partner. this is why we have to get more academics laid more often--their research is narrowed by their perspective sometimes.