There’s a long way to go until women are equal to men, but in one aspect of life, we’re catching up.
The percentage of women cheating on their husbands rose almost 40 percent to 14.7 in the last 20 years, according to the latest data from the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey. The same survey suggests that the number of men admitting to extramarital affairs stayed the same at 21 percent.
According to a sociologist at Auburn University at Montgomery, who reported the survey, the data reflects a number of trends, including social media making it easy to have affairs as well as women having less to lose economically from a divorce.
“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.”
One in four men described their marriages as “not very happy,” which is twice as many wives who used that excuse for their extramarital affair.
"What Do Women Want?” author Daniel Bergner told Bloomberg news that cultural expectations have stopped women from having more affairs.
“Women are programmed to seek out one good man, and men never have been really well-suited to monogamy, right?” Bergner said. He also said that women’s sex drive has been repressed by thousands of years of male-dominated culture.
Bergner also argued that the gap might narrow even more as the nation’s median age increases.
“Once you strip away the stigma from the equation, interest in casual sex is about equal for women and men,” he said. “So we men may have a lot to worry about.”