AFRICANGLOBE – Thanks to financial independence and social media, wives are engaging in more cheating than ever.
The percentage of American wives being unfaithful to their husbands has risen by 40per cent in the last twenty years to 14.7per cent – while the number of cheating men has plateaued to 21per cent,
according to the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey.
‘Men are still more likely to cheat than women,’ said Yanyi Djamba, director of the AUM Center for Demographic Research. ‘But the gender gap is closing.’
This narrowing gap, reported by a sociologist at Auburn University at Montgomery, is in part thanks to more women having less to lose financially in case of a divorce, and the ease with which social media enables women to sneak around.
‘They can afford the potential consequences of an affair, with higher incomes and more job prospects,’ said Pepper Schwartz, a University of Washington sociologist.
‘They have more economic independence and may meet a better class of mate.’
While one in four men rationalized their adultery with the excuse ‘unhappy marriage,’ there were more women (one in two) who actually used the same justification.
According to the survey, which has been conducted for over 40 years, groups of females most likely to report extramarital affairs after African Americans, executives and managers, and Southerners.
Alton Abramowitz, president of the Chicago-based American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, admitted than in the last decade, he has seen an increase in the number of divorce cases sparked by unfaithful wives.
‘We always had a few cases with women, but they were much more discreet about it,’ he said.
‘In the past 10 years or so, though, there’s been an uptick in those cases coming through our office.’
And the ease of online affairs has certainly contributed,.
The prevalence of sites such as Ashley Madison, an online affair-matchmaking service which has grown to serve 3.5million users over 26 countries since 2002, is one example.
‘There’s been a cultural shift,’ explained Noel Biderman, the chief executive officer of Toronto-based Avid Life Media Inc., which operates Ashley Madison. ‘And female infidelity is very linked to cultural change.’
While the number of female users still lags behind male members (for every two women there are three men), it seems changes in attitudes about women engaging in sex outside of their marriage may close the infidelity even further, says Mr Bergner.
‘Once you strip away the stigma from the equation, interest in casual sex is about equal for women and men.
‘So we men may have a lot to worry about.’