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Gender and Infidelity Why do men cheat?. Depends on how you define the term “cheating.” Bill Clinton: “… I believe at the time that she filled out this.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender and Infidelity Why do men cheat?. Depends on how you define the term “cheating.” Bill Clinton: “… I believe at the time that she filled out this."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender and Infidelity Why do men cheat?

2 Depends on how you define the term “cheating.” Bill Clinton: “… I believe at the time that she filled out this affidavit, if she believed that the definition of sexual relationship was two people having intercourse, then this is accurate. And I believe that is the definition that most ordinary Americans would give it.” From Grand Jury Video Testimony

3 In academic circles, “cheating” is referred to as infidelity. Sexual infidelity—sexual activity with someone other than one’s long term romantic partner Emotional infidelity—channeling emotional resources to someone other than one’s romantic partner From Guerrero, Andersen & Afifi (p. 341)

4 Most ordinary Americans define “cheating” more broadly than Bill Clinton Sexual infidelity—oral, vaginal, anal sex with same or opposite sex person other than one’s romantic partner Emotional infidelity—secrecy, sexual attraction, and intimate talk with someone other than one’s romantic partner

5 Gender Differences in Perceptions of Infidelity Men and women react to sexual and emotional infidelity differently because they have different priorities related to survival needs. Men tend to be more worried about sexual infidelity because they are concerned with paternal certainty. Women tend to be more worried about emotional infidelity because they are more concerned with protecting survival resources. From Guerrero, Andersen & Afifi (pp )

6 Gender Differences in Perceptions of Infidelity Evolutionary model explains gender differences in the perceptions of victims of infidelity. What about factors that influence the perceptions of perpetrators?

7 Let’s modify the original question: What does the definition of “cheating” depend on? Does the perpetrator’s gender influence his/her perceptions of “cheating?” Does the perpetrator’s relationship status influence his/her perceptions of “cheating?”

8 Which activities do you consider to be “cheating?”

9 “Cheating” Activities Kissing on the lips and sexual intercourse (most often chosen) Casually flirting (least often chosen) Holding hands (50/50 split)

10 Which reasons do you feel justify “cheating?”

11 Reasons for “Cheating” Desire for variety and revenge (most often chosen) Wanted sex more often (least often chosen) “Other”—no reason justifies cheating

12 When thinking about your own behavior, how do you rate the following “cheating” behaviors on a scale of 1 to 10? Overall perceptions Female versus male perceptions Single versus committed but not living together relationship status perceptions

13 Overall Perceptions of “Cheating” Behaviors Repeated vaginal intercourse with different opposite sex strangers (rated highest for “cheating”) Discuss how day went (rated lowest for “cheating”)

14 Female Perceptions of “Cheating” Behaviors SEXUAL INFIDELITY Oral sex (9.75 – 9.78) Vaginal sex (9.75 – 9.79) Same sex sex (9.64 – 9.67) EMOTIONAL INFIDELITY Secrecy (4.45 – 6.70) Sexual attraction (3.12 – 6.85) Intimate talk (2.79 – 4.33)

15 Male Perceptions of “Cheating” Behaviors SEXUAL INFIDELITY Oral sex (9.50 – 9.75) Vaginal sex (9.90 – 9.95) Same sex sex (9.45 – 9.55) EMOTIONAL INFIDELITY Secrecy (3.05 – 4.90) Sexual attraction (2.55 – 6.25) Intimate talk (1.35 – 1.80)

16 Male vs. Female Perceptions of “Cheating” Behaviors AGREE Oral sex Vaginal sex Same sex sex Sexual attraction Secrecy (identity and frequent daytime meetings) DISAGREE Secrecy (online conversations, telephone conversations and evening meetings) Intimate talk

17 Male vs. Female Perceptions of “Cheating” Behaviors Women rated secrecy (frequent online conversations, telephone conversations and evening meetings) and intimate talk (how day went, seeking advice, seeking emotional support, and intimate details about primary relationship) behaviors higher than men, but no average rating was higher than 4.30.

18 Female Perceptions of “Cheating” by Relationship Status AGREE Oral sex Vaginal sex Secrecy Sexual attraction (feel attracted, communicate attraction and direct assessment) Intimate talk DISAGREE Sexual attraction (indirect assessment) Same sex sex

19 Male Perceptions of “Cheating” by Relationship Status AGREE Secrecy Sexual attraction Intimate talk (seeking advice, seeking emotional support, and intimate details about primary relationship) DISAGREE Oral sex Vaginal sex Same sex sex Intimate talk (how day went)

20 Male Perceptions of “Cheating” by Relationship Status Single men rated oral sex, vaginal sex, and intimate talk (how day went) higher than men in committed but not living together relationships. Men in committed but not living together relationships rated same sex sex higher than single men. Means for sexual infidelity were very high and means for intimate talk were very low.

21 Why do men “cheat?” Does it depend on the gender of the perpetrator? Not really—men and women perceive sexual infidelity as “cheating,” and both regard only two specific types of emotional infidelity as relatively mild forms of “cheating.”

22 Why do men “cheat?” Does it depend on the relationship status of the male perpetrator? Yes—single men seem more certain about regarding oral sex and vaginal sex as “cheating” than men in committed but not living together relationships. Thus, committed men in this sample are like Bill Clinton.


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