The Tiger Woods scandal causes a lot of people to wonder — why do men… and women… cheat?
Those who study marriage and work with couples say men and women who cheat usually do so because they feel something is missing in their primary relationship, according to this USA Today report.
“The underlying piece is the fact they’re not getting the kind of attention or intimacy they’re looking for within their primary relationship. That’s true for women as well,” says Israel Helfand, a marriage and family therapist in Cabot, Vt.
He says he doesn’t believe adultery is necessarily more prevalent than in the past, but he says it may seem that way because famous people who are unfaithful in their marriages bring attention to the overall issue of why people cheat.
Helfand says data from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy suggests that 15% of wives and 25% of husbands have experienced extramarital intercourse.
The article continues:
A new data analysis by W. Bradford Wilcox, an associate professor of sociology who directs the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, seems to support that idea.
Wilcox reviewed data from the General Social Survey, a large social science survey of trends between the 1990s through 2000 and from 2000 to 2008.
He found that 21% of men and 14% of women who had ever been married (including those who have been divorced) said they had sex at least once with someone other than the spouse while married.
Of those currently married, 16% of men and 10% of women responded affirmatively.
Wilcox agrees that it seems we hear more about infidelity now, but the trends have been pretty similar since 1990. Wilcox says that despite appearances, there is a “real premium on fidelity.”
“It’s kind of a testament to the soulmate idea,” he says. “We are much more likely to look at marriage as a soulmate relationship. One indication of a soulmate’s commitment to you is that he or she is faithful to you.”
Additional calculations of that survey data by Wilcox show less tolerance toward infidelity now than in the past.
In the decade of the 1970s, 63% of men and 73% of women said marital infidelity is “always wrong.” In the current decade, 78% of men and 84% of women believe that marital infidelity is “always wrong.”
Wonder what you Rockwallers, Heathens, Faters and Roysers think are the answers?
We want to know you opinions for a news article coming soon.