Female infidelity: Is it for love or sex?
Do women experience love affairs in the same way as their lovers? Who are those women who are more “sentimental”, and don’t find it so easy to be unfaithful? And what is it that pushes them to commit adultery? Who is spending the night away from home and why?
The circumstances and motivations behind little indiscretions have been studied for many years, not only by the inevitable private detectives, but also by researchers! In 1984, Thompson stated that 42.2% of women and 45.8% of men admitted to having had an extra-marital affair: almost one in two husbands or wives! But note that there is an amalgamation here. In fact, it is not only sexual affairs which are grouped under this term but also emotional attachments (including being in love, crushes etc). Many studies over fifty years have concluded that men are more willing to start purely sexual relationships and women are more open to emotional attachments. Australian researchers have tried to determine exactly why women start affairs, and what type of affair is most common, producing some extensive results!
Who plays the field and why?
The first thing to note, disastrous for spouses, is that extra-marital affairs are common, if not usual! The consolation (if it can be called this) is that it is generally an emotional attachment, which is not always accompanied by sexual relations and can stay almost platonic. Sex, yes, but the heart comes first!
In practice women have much more trouble going through with it, and actually having sex with someone else, which requires real, calculated organisation which they are not always capable of. At the same time, men experience the opposite, and their extra-marital affairs are, generally speaking, strictly sexual, without any particular intention or organisation of any sort. It is down to whether or not the opportunity arises.
Whatever the case, even when the affair becomes a full blown sexual relationship, women need to feel like they are in love. Only 1.8% of unfaithful women say only sex is involved in their extra-marital affairs, without any emotional attachment.
What is that pushes people to have sexual affairs?
Women are often very influenced by the idea that other people are unfaithful. Men, meanwhile, could not care less what they should or shouldn’t be doing, and do not take into account their own desires. In this way, if a woman is tempted, she will allow herself to be swayed, in one way or another, by her friends and her social group. If a woman has the time to pursue an affair, she could end up being more determined to experience extra-marital passion.
Another determining factor is satisfaction, or non-satisfaction, in your relationship. “A happy woman won’t go and look elsewhere for what she needs” seems to be the conclusion of the study. Sexual satisfaction found in the relationship, however, seems to have very little to do with this happiness. This may explain why women’s extra-marital relationships are above all emotional, with sex taking second place...
- Extra marital relationship involvement among women: Are they different from men? Sophie Banfield, M. Psych., and Marita P. McCabe, Ph.D, Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol 30, N°2, 2001.
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