Men don’t cheat – people do!

Saying that men are ‘programmed’ to cheat is just lazy. Women are just as likely to want to cheat says Periwinkle Jones.

By Periwinkle Jones 28/06/2012 13:29

Couple cheating Image Getty

A new study published by the University of California this week found that men aren’t any more ‘hardwired’ to cheat than women. But isn’t this obvious?

The idea that men are programmed to sow their wild oats while women seek monogamy is based on a (flawed) study by an English geneticist called Angus John Bateman back in 1948.


Here’s the science bit, feel free to skip: The scientists put three fruit flies of each gender in jar and later checked back to see who had had babies with who (a bit like Big Brother).


Because DNA testing wasn’t around back then, the scientists took a guess over who had bred with who. Which resulted in flawed data.


Women might want to cheat just as much as a man, they just don’t get the chance.


I’m not saying that men don’t cheat – men do cheat, but that’s because they have more opportunity to do so. Women might want to cheat just as much as a man, they just don’t get the chance.


A 2011 study published by Tilburg University, Netherlands proved this. The boffins found that 26% of people cheat. And the biggest indicator of sexual infidelity wasn’t what was down the cheaters’ pants: it was who had the most opportunity.


Think about it – how is a housewife able to get her leg over with the hunky window cleaner with four screaming kids hanging on to her ankles?


There’s no amount of reading Fifty Shades of Grey that’ll make up for how unsexy you feel with legs as stubbly as Desperate Dan’s chin


And even if she could find the time, the chances are her desire has been dampened by domestic drudgery.  There’s no amount of reading Fifty Shades of Grey that’ll make up for how unsexy you feel with legs as stubbly as Desperate Dan’s chin.


But if you think she wouldn’t cheat if Johnny Depp came knocking and she could find a babysitter and five minutes to run a Bic over her shins, you’re having a laugh.


A study by psychotherapist M. Gary Neuman found that 40% of women cheat and that 62% have thought about it. The stats were simlar for unfaithful men: around 40% confessed to cheating, but in contrast to the women, 60% said they would never cheat.

Humans are ‘programmed’ to be socially monogamous, not sexually blind to every bit of eye candy. It would make no evolutionary sense if we didn’t keep half an eye out for perspective partners just in case your mate gets carried off by a sabre tooth.


Chris Rock said ‘a man is only as faithful as his options’. I think that applies to both genders.  


Periwinkle Jones has written for big name brands such as Cosmopolitan, Men's Health and Company both sides of the screen. Picked by Huffington Post as one of Twitter's funniest women she can most often be found there under the moniker @peachesanscream.


Follow Periwinkle Jones on Twitter @peachesanscream

  • Let us know your views in the comments below. Join the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #socialvoices
  • Do you want to join our #socialvoices? We're looking for great new writers.
leave your comment
about #socialvoices

Welcome to #socialvoices. This is the home of sharp writing, opinion and social debate on MSN. Jump into the comments, tweet us with the hashtag. Join in.

#socialvoices on Twitter
No tweets available. Please try again later
Vote now

Do you like Gaga’s new fox blonde hair?

Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results

  1. Lady Gaga
    Lady Gaga
    39 %
    Yes, she is rocking the ginger dye job
    5,517 votes
  2. Lady Gaga
    Lady Gaga
    61 %
    No, it really doesn’t suit her
    8,590 votes

Total Responses: 14,107
Not scientifically valid. Results are updated every minute.

more from #socialvoices