Men & Women See Cheating Differently, Says Study

Cheating is cheating, right?


Well, that depends if you’re a man or a woman.


A new study published by Taylor & Francis Group in Sexual & Relationship Therapy reveals the different ways in which men and women perceive infidelity.  We all know the damage infidelity can do but when the sexes see cheating differently, that’s a problem in and of itself.


For the experiment, researchers asked hundreds of young men and women to complete an online questionnaire, which categorized infidelity in three ways – sexual infidelity, intimate infidelity, and fantasy infidelity.


The authors of the study found that, “women were more likely than men to identify both sexual-based and emotion-based acts as constituting infidelity.”


Men, find greater distress in sexual infidelity, overall because according to researchers, men fear that a woman’s sexual infidelity would result in the man having to provide for children who are not his own, and women fear that a man’s emotional infidelity would result in him providing for the other woman and not her.


The findings also suggest that women being more likely to identify certain acts as infidelity is unsurprising given that the women scored higher than the men on measures of communion—the extent to which a person wants to form and maintain positive interpersonal bonds.


So, what one partner may perceive as an act of infidelity, the other may perceive as a harmless act.  The researchers say, “knowing what your partner believes to be infidelity could potentially save a relationship if both partners understand each other’s perspective.”



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