Women Cheat Because Men Do Everything Wrong?

women infidelity
Not buyin' it, St. Slutty.
How is anyone supposed to have a healthy relationship when we have this idiotic, self-serving bias that makes women out to be saints and men to be losers no matter what they do -- even if they cheat?

I need to tell the media at large that, like the Hulk, you shouldn’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. And I just read something that makes me very, very angry.

An article on Why Women Cheat is just one more version of the tired old trope: When men cheat, it’s because they do everything wrong. And when women cheat ... it’s because men do everything wrong.

Oh, and by the way? I call BS. Everybody likes sex. Everybody feels emotionally isolated sometimes. We cheat for all sorts of reasons, good and bad. But some kind of innate gender-based approach to sex is not one of them.


The experts cited to support this well-loved but full-of-holes theory say things like, “[Women] are on a sinking ship and use [an affair] as a life raft because they don’t want to just jump into the cold water!” Oh, noble, noble women -- it’s not that you’re just as irresponsible as your male counterparts! It’s that you’re looking to make sure your children are cared for after you leave your marriage, because evolution told you so!

The trouble is, there’s no backup for this kind of claim. The new book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality picks apart claims like this -- the well-worn tropes of “man dirty, woman prude” that fly in the face of everything we know about our parents, friends, and selves.

Here’s the positive spin: If we can be understanding that a woman cheating on her husband can be a “cry for help,” calling out the problems in the marriage, then we can do the same for men. Maybe he’s just an asshole or a “sex addict,” whatever the hell that is. Or maybe people are more complex than that, and there might be myriad reasons for an affair, from conflicting sexual desires to relationship issues that leave one party feeling unheard, to a desire for an escape hatch that they’re too scared to seek openly.

Bottom line is -- one huge wrong doesn’t make the other person 100 percent right. And you don’t get to hold up your uterus as some magical beacon of goodness. Because that’s as shitty, reductive, and sexist as everything else we feminists have been fighting. A’ight? Rant over.

Do you think there are gender-difference explanations for why we cheat? Is it easier for you to excuse a woman than a man? Tell us in the comments!

Read More >