Why Men Cheat, A Questionable Scientific Study

2 comments

madPhoto: Courtesy Of AMC.
A study out this weekend delves into the differences between the genders when it comes to cheating — we've all seen the numbers around the fact that men are more likely than women to engage in some illicit activity, but why? Researchers at Texas A&M University think they've figured it out. It's not that men lack self-control; it's that their sexual impulses are supposedly more intense than those of women.

In the study, men and women were asked about their past experiences desiring someone they shouldn't have — someone who wasn't their spouse if they were attached, or a friend's partner, etc., if they weren't — and what they did about it. Apparently, men rated their desire for the off-limits recreation higher than the women did. However, both groups reportedly possess similar levels of self control in situations where they used it.

Poor dudes — their impulses made them do it, right? Co-author of the study Paul Eastwick said: "Men have plenty of self-control — just as much as women. However, if men fail to use self-control, their sexual impulses can be quite strong. This is often the situation when cheating occurs."

So, men have self-control, they just don't always use it. Although...isn't not bothering to control your impulses just another form of not having self-control? Or, is that just us?

But, sarcasm aside, it's also important to remember that studies like these — ones where people are recalling past experiences — aren't happening in a controlled scientific environment. These are events that have already happened. And in our culture, it's much more taboo for a woman to have extramarital desires, or to act on them, so it's certainly possible that women only reported having lower desire than men.

When you're recalling past experiences, it's easy to be influenced by how you think you're "supposed" to act. Like when we think back on how badly we wanted a doughnut that we didn't eat last week — we might congratulate ourselves on our self-control OR we might convince ourselves that we didn't even want that stupid doughnut, anyway (because we're into health, thankyouverymuch). This may or may not be the truth about our doughnut-eating habits, but you'll never know.

There are lots of questions here that need further investigation, but for now, it's safe to say that the sensational idea that men's sexual impulses are SO unwieldy that they have to cheat might be oversimplifying the case a bit. (Medical Daily)