Infidelity: Are Men More Likely to Cheat Than Women?

Growing up in London, the heart of fashion, art and hippies, one comes to experience the taste of variety of things without ever physically or mentally intending to. It’s London. Whether you like it or not you will be exposed to an array of cultures, foods and music.

This reminds me of once when I was sitting alone in a rather cosy Costa coffee shop somewhere on Oxford Street, enjoying my Americano, hold the sugar; and reading the Daily Telegraph. Sipping away slowly and behaving as though I am interested reading the fascinating sports section, I overheard a woman. Not much older than myself, maybe in her early to mid twenties; crying into her large cappuccino with a group of tight knit girlfriends who were mollycoddling her and passing along a packet of Kleenex.


To the other beverage lovers I must have looked very interested in what I was reading, little did they know; I was trying my best to get a deep insight over why this woman crying from a table away. From what I remember she was blubbering about her long term fiancé having a physical relationship with another woman for the past year. What should she do? Should she break it off? It was ‘only’ a physical relationship not after all, not an emotional one, so should she pursue her summer wedding?

We can all sit behind out laptop screens and judge Cheryl Cole’s decision to forgive Ashley Cole; one of the most scandalous affairs to be revealed but after a lot of press coverage and support given to Cheryl; she decided to stand by her husband and forgive him. Was Cheryl’s decision a bad one?

Psychology and evolution teaches us a lot about infidelity and the major stereotype that men are more likely to take part in infidelity than women. I can break this down simply. As far as psychologists and evolutionists are concerned men are made to “spread their seed” and women are made for child birth and the upbringing of the child. This may all just be hard to digest and I can already feel the wrath of feminists as I type, but take a breather and think about it. Men are able to impregnate women continuously without a break for as long as they live.  Women on the other hand only have a certain number of eggs and a certain amount of time before menopause hits them.

What is believed is that men are more likely to take part in infidelity because they have the ability to keep impregnating women and it is wired into them that they should spread their seed. This is why men may find themselves in another woman’s bed when they know the one they love is waiting for them at home. I will throw my opinion into this and say I believe most men are helpless. It takes a lot of self control to turn down an opportunity of sleeping with another woman.

The question women see themselves asking is why is it easier to forgive a man who has had a physical affair than an emotional one? I’ve heard time and time again that a woman is able to forgive a one night stand. This works both ways; a man will much easier forgive an emotional affair than a physical one. Basic evolution theories teach us that women look for stability and wealth in a man so he can support her and their child, whereas a man will look for beauty in a woman, a woman who will give him beautiful children. If a woman comes to knowledge that her partner is having an emotional affair, all hell breaks loose. She feels threatened that he will stop taking care of her and start taking care of this other hypothetical woman instead. She will start to feel insecure and scared whereas she may be able to brush a physical relationship under the rug. A man on the other hand will break down if he comes to knowledge that another man has touched his woman’s body, how could he be sure that the child/children she has are his? Of course now we have paternity tests, but we are talking about initial reactions and thoughts.

So should Cheryl have forgiven Ashley? Or should the crying Costa Coffee girl marry her fiancé? Maybe both these women felt as though they could forgive their husband/fiancé merely because inside they felt that the cheating was only physical and doesn’t hold a threat to her or their future children.

I can type my thoughts and tell you yes they should get back with their partners, only because their partners were cheating physically, but I can’t speak for every woman. I would feel threatened if I came to knowledge my partner had an emotional relationship with another woman. Would I forgive him if it was a purely physical relationship? Yes I would. I am going to side with Cheryl and the Crying Costa girl on this one.

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About Fatima Ahmed

Fatima is a psychology student in London and evolving into a running and charity enthusiast

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