This article was originally published on December 18, 2015.
According to stereotypes, men are the sexually voracious cheaters and women are the emotionally hungry commitment seekers. But these heterosexual tropes are pretty reductive and fail to take into account that women like sex, too
. In fact, plenty of women seek emotional and sexual satisfaction outside of monogamous relationships.
Studies have shown that not only do women have affairs about as often as men
do, but some of them might also be genetically predisposed
to the kinds of desires that lead to infidelity — yes, really. In a 2014 study
, researchers found a significant association between variants of a certain gene and infidelity in women. They didn’t find any such link in men.
Of course, people cheat for all sorts of reasons — sexual desire, emotional fulfillment, a life crisis, revenge, and boredom are just a few common motivations for both genders. But if there’s research suggesting that women are just as prone to affairs as their male counterparts, why does it often feel like we hear fewer stories of female infidelity?
Whatever your stance on cheating, learning more about how women act on their emotional and physical desires is important to understanding the dynamics of couples, as well as the full scope of female sexuality. To gain some insight, we talked to six women who’ve had affairs and asked them what drove them to cheat. These stories don't represent all
women, of course, but they'll help paint a fuller picture.*All of the names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.
"Shatterbox Anthology is R29's newest venture into creative storytelling that tackles gender, sexuality, and power, all under the umbrella of the female experience in this world. Only by putting women in front of the camera, behind the camera, on set, and in the writer's position will we see truly realized depictions of women on film. We're not here to show you a pretty picture of our lives. We're here to show you something real.
In our latest Shatterbox installment, The Press Conference, directed Meera Menon, we we watch as a female governor fights for her space in the public eye in the midst of a scandal surrounding her affair. The film is available now at Refinery29.com/Shatterbox and on Comcast Watchable."