Cheater Cheater: The Science Behind Cheating

ImageMen cheat more than women. A new study says that it’s because they have stronger sexual impulses. Whereas women can be attracted to a man and not exhibit any signs of attraction, men are less controlled in indicating their interest, according to two new studies in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Both men and women are more likely to cheat in the afternoon. Resisting our baser impulses takes cognitive work and as the day goes on, our prefrontal cortex gets tired. A new study in Psychological Science found that the strain of impulse control wears on people as the day goes on, making them  more likely to cheat in the afternoon.

The most common reason men cheat is to fill an emotional void, according to a study of 200 husbands. Almost half of the men who cheated said it was due to emotional dissatisfaction with their partner – they felt their wives did not appreciate or listen to them. Men tend to feel guilty during the affair (66% said they did). Friends have a big impact – 77% of the men who cheated had a good friend who had cheated. The common thought was, “well, he’s a good guy and he did it, so it can’t be that bad”. A much more casual take on cheating from AskMen.com blame cheating on not loving the wife anymore, wanting to feel like you still “have it”, and doing it in revenge for her cheating.

Best way to hopefully reduce the risk of a man cheating? Keep that marriage alive. If cheating happens, don’t blame the other woman. There was a brain behind that penis.

Though maybe cheating isn’t a problem. If you’re into consensual nonmonagamy (an increasingly common lifestyle), a new book, “Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them”, by a clinical psychologist explores the psychological, social, biological and evolutionary underpinnings of men encouraging their wives to have sexual relations outside of their marriage. Interesting note: It’s usually the woman who initiates the practice.

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