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Why do men cheat on women?

Heterosexual infidelity is increasingly common. Statistics vary, but most estimate that 20% of married men have secret extramarital sexual relationships at one point or another. Why? This illicit betrayal can ruin lives and tear families apart. So, what drives men to cheat on women?

Infidelity is not a gender issue

This approach believes that cheating is not a gender issue.

Women cheat as much as men

Research shows that rates of female infidelity are increasing, while men are cheating less. Explore

Monogamy is unnatural

Humans are meant to have multiple partners at any one time. No wonder people end up cheating. Explore

Infidelity is situational

There is no single cause for infidelity. Just as every relationship is unique, so are the causes for betrayal. Explore

Men are socialised to cheat

The masculine ideal makes male infidelity permissible.

Society conditions men to cheat

Strength. Virility. Bedpost notches. Men are socialised into aspirations of a "male ideal". This can lead to cheating, as a type of performative masculinity. Explore

Psychological factors cause men to cheat

Infidelity changes the way men think about themselves and view the the object of their affair.

Men fall in love with a "fantasy"

Infidelity begins with lust. This results from a man projecting his own fantasies onto the object of his desire. Explore

Men cheat to feel validated

Sexual attraction intensifies when a person feels valued. Men cheat because they feel increasingly validated by the attention of other person. Explore

Men cheat because they are trapped in unhappy relationships

Men cheat because they are unsatisfied with their current partner.

Men are not satisfied with their partners

There is a significant link between cheating and relationship dissatisfaction. Explore

Men are unwilling to sacrifice

Relationship experts claim relationship satisfaction depends on how much a person is willing to sacrifice. And men don't like sacrificing their needs. Explore

The Other Woman is to blame

This approach believes the fault lies with the woman who lured the man into temptation.

The "other woman" is liberating herself

Women choose to fall into the "other woman" role as an expression of their sexual liberation and freedom to submit to their desires above all else. Explore

Women lure men away from their partners

Infidelity takes place when a woman chooses to lure a faithful man away from their unsuspecting partners. Explore

Men are born to cheat

This approach see male infidelity as hardwired into their DNA.

Men prefer younger women

The scientific evidence is in. At any age, men are most attracted to young women. Explore

Men have biologically evolved to cheat

The genetic distinction between how many children men and women can have, is the key genetic difference at the heart of this debate. Explore
This page was last edited on Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:46 UTC