Do men and women cheat for the same reasons?

 Do men and women cheat for the same reasons?

Do men and women cheat for the same reasons?_


• There are numerous theories about how men and women perceive relationships differently - and when it comes to cheating, our societal differences may simply affect our motives.


• At least, that's what relationship expert and psychologist Esther Perel contends in a 2017 talk show clip that has since gone viral on TikTok.


• When asked if men and women cheat on their partners for the same reasons, she says, "First and foremost, let's be very clear. Throughout history, men have had a licence to cheat. And they had all sorts of theories that came to justify the fact that they are natural wanderers, you know.


• So we have all these evolutionary and biological theories to explain why men are not monogamists by nature. Women, on the other hand, are these domesticated creatures. We don't know what women would do if they were given permission to do the same without the consequences that men face.


• "We do know that both men and women lie. Men lie by exaggerating, boasting, and inflating, whereas women lie by denying and downplaying because that is what is expected of them culturally around the world."


• Esther discusses the topic in depth in the full interview, which can be found on YouTube, going into greater detail about the nuances of why people cheat.


• The post received a massive amount of attention, garnering 1.5 million likes and nearly 10,000 comments, with many women agreeing with Esther's statement. "When my ex cheated, my family forced me to forgive him because apparently I was being overdramatic and he couldn't control his urges and cheated," one person responded.


• Another person wrote: "She is not attempting to denigrate men or women; rather, she is describing how they behave differently. We are not inferior to one another."


• Is there really a difference between men and women when it comes to infidelity? Professor David Buss, a Harvard psychologist and evolutionary expert, certainly believes so – though there are exceptions to his theories.


• Based on the evolution of men and women, he believes that men are more likely to cheat for'sexual variety,' whereas women are more likely to cheat to'mate switch,' or to find a better connection with another partner.


• "There's a mountain of evidence for these gender differences," he says. "For example, there are studies in which men and women report their reasons for cheating. Women who cheat are much more likely to cheat with just one person and to 'fall in love' or become emotionally involved with their affair partner. 


• Men are more likely to report a desire to satisfy sexual desire. Of course, these are average differences, and some men cheat to'mate switch,' while some women simply want sexual satisfaction."


• Dr Julia Carter, a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of the West of England who specialises in marriage and relationships, adds that these roles have evolved over time.


• "Women are assigned the responsibility for maintaining love relationships under 'femininity,' so I would suspect their reasons for 'cheating' would revolve around emotions – falling in and out of love." 


• Men are expected to seek sexual relationships wherever they can under the socially constructed category of'masculinity,' so I expect their motivations to be more opportunistic or pleasure-seeking," she explains.


• Both emphasise that, in today's world, there are numerous other factors to consider. "I believe that framing the issue as'monogamous vs. non-monogamous' is incorrect," David adds. "Men and women have both developed a'menu' of mating strategies. Long-term pair bonding, short-term sex, infidelity, serial mating, and other behaviours are examples.


• "Which mating strategy a man or woman chooses is determined by cultural and social norms, opportunity, the mate they are with, and even the sex ratio in the mating pool. That's a much more accurate description. Are there evolved sex differences on average? Absolutely. However, both sexes have a wide range of mating strategies."


• To be honest, we don't know how we would approach monogamy if it weren't for the societal norms that have guided us.


• "We don't know what men and women's attitudes toward sexuality would be like without the imposition of history, masculinity, femininity – in short, society," Julia adds. Who's to say that neither men nor women are monogamists "by nature"? 


• Without society, we have no idea who we are. But society has always allowed men to express their sexuality more freely than women – with the exception of sex workers, of course, but that's a different question."



















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