The mystery of female infidelity

The Telegraph can’t figure it out:

Why are so many married women having affairs? Gone are the days when adultery was so taboo that affairs generally happened by accident. Now increasing numbers of women set out to stray as if extramarital sex was just one more thing on their to-do list.

It’s hardly rocket science. The decline of religious faith across the West, the expansion of female employment to the middle and upper middle classes, the increase in the average amount of female sexual experience prior to marriage, and the elimination of significant divorce penalties for women have combined to create a generation of women less inclined to take their marital vows seriously than those that preceded them.

In the same way that putting a ring in a bull’s nose doesn’t make it any less a bull, putting a ring on a slut’s finger will not make her any less a slut. Once the narcissistic excitement of All-About-the-Bride Day wears off, the chances are that she’ll return to form. I don’t trust the self-reported statistics that claim 34% of married women are unfaithful, but one would expect female infidelity to exceed male infidelity so long as a) men increasingly seek to avoid marriage and b) the short-term negative post-marital consequences for men significantly exceed those for women. This is why every man contemplating marriage must be very careful to consider his prospective wife’s a) religious dedication, b) desire to work outside the home, and c) sexual history. There are no guarantees, of course, but the cold statistical reality is that some marriages possess higher probabilities of lasting success than others, so if at least two of those three factors are not in operating your favor, you’ll be better off passing and finding another woman.

UPDATE: That being said, it’s not terribly surprising to learn that the science behind the infidelity reports appears to be not so much sub-par as nonexistent. “This survey is so savagely incompetent that I am in awe at how many different media outlets covered it. . . . If a slot machine were as rigged as this survey, the gaming commission would shut down the casino.”

The number of wives and husbands who have ever been unfaithful appears to be in the 15″% to 18% range, which is less than half that commonly reported in the newspapers.

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