Are women in general inclined towards infidelity?

As a spin off on this thread, Is every man in this world inclined towards infedility?, I pose a similar question, but for the opposite gender.

It seems many people agreed that both men and women were inclined towards infidelity, but ultimately have the ability to make their own choices.

Now, with men, it seems that the answer is a bit more obvious. They have a biological imperative to “spread their seed” and often have higher sex drives. Cite - WebMD

I think it’s a bit more complicated with women and why I consider it to be more interesting question.

Women are more faithful because there is more social pressure for them to be faithful.

I doubt you’ll find a study that can control for social pressure and only measure the biological drive toward infidelity.

Based on the size of human males’ testicles, women have evolved as promiscuous. Not as much as chimps, but much more so than gorillas.

Also, the idea that women don’t crave sex is pretty much completely cultural. It the past it was the exact opposite; women were insatiable and because they were so sex obsessed they were unfit to lead. It was one of the reasons given for continuing gender inequality; only men who had lower sex drives and could control their passions should be in charge. Funny, huh?

Which makes you wonder (along with other historical reversals) how much of current commonly-accepted beliefs about gender and stereotypical attitudes have any basis in reality or will be looked at askance from the perspective of another few decades down the line.

Would you happen to know any books on this subject? I ask because I want to learn more about how cultural attitudes toward sex have changed over time.

Since you are asking for opinions. IMO they are a heck of a lot more inclined towards it, as well as actually doing it, than what is taken as a cultural fact by the masses.

Throw in the reverse, where single women have affairs with married men (which one could argue is actually a morally worse “sex crime” so to speak) and I’d say when it comes to respecting fidelity the two sexes are about equal.

And think about it for a minute. All this sex cheating thing going on involves both sexes so the math kinda has to work out even.

Yeah, there are SOME women that don’t know Bob was married, but honestly IMO I think most women DO know Bob was married. They either don’t care or are lying to themselves to feel better about it.

That, or you could argue there are lots of stupid women out (that will go over well) and or lots or really smooth operating men (yeah right).

That is going to require a cite.

Ignoring whatever moral convictions she may have, from a Darwinian perspective a woman’s interests are in a reliable male to support her, and a male to give her the genes that are most likely to help her own spread. Those are not necessarily the same thing - in fact in some ways they are opposites. A man who’s good at seducing many women and inclined to do so can pass on whatever genes help/incline him do that, which can benefit her sons’ attempts to do the same - and her sons carry half her genes. On the other hand, such men leave women with a severe disadvantage at raising those children; a man who stays with her is much better for that, obviously.

So the amoral ideal from a female point of view is to find a man to pay for everything, and a different guy good at seducing women to father the children that the reliable man will unknowingly raise. “Every woman should have four pets in her life: A mink in her closet, a jaguar in her garage, a tiger in her bed, and a jackass to pay for it all.” I recall that there are interesting studies showing that women prefer different types of men according to where they are in their fertility cycle; the nearer they are to peak fertility, the more they prefer your stereotypical “manly man” types. This sexual strategy seems as hardwired into women as the “love them and leave them” strategy appears to be built into men.

I don’t think this is it. If a woman can find a man who will meet her most important needs (if not all), she’ll stay faithful. Emotional, physical, economic. If he doesn’t, she might go looking elsewhere.

According to Wikipedia:

Why is this not true for men?

Sex at Dawn, a very scholarly and well-researched tome on the history of sexuality.

Its conclusions are that both human sexes are not really wired for monogamy.

That’s been pretty well debunked in the link I supplied above, also in multiple other credible studies.

…I’m sorry, but I found that book neither scholarly nor well-researched.

Here is an academic review (PDF) of it, and here are my concerns with it (as someone who is neither an anthropologist nor an evolutionary psychiatrist, but who does have some experience with paper-diving).

(Though both the Sex at Dawn authors and the “standard narrative” that they purport to take down assume nonmonogamy of both males and females in practice, so I suppose I am not disagreeing with your larger point. And it’s been a little while, but I think that I didn’t have any quibbles with their discussion of historically-recorded attitudes towards women’s arousal, which was the purpose of the cite.)

I never said it wasn’t. I know several men to whom it could apply, but this subject is about women so that’s what I addressed.

I really am cynical when it comes to New York Times best sellers. No offense intended, but that entire page is marketing spiel and I don’t consider that book a credible source. I’m much more inclined to give any credible studies or even abstracts a serious read if you’ve got links.

Not having read them, I’m certainly at a disadvantage, so I’ll speak from my own expereince. I’m having all my needs met, and I’ve no desire to look elsewhere. From talking with my peers, the theory seems to hold true as well, both with faithful and unfaithful women.

Do you have any source for this claim? (I am very skeptical.)

When examined in aggregate, data often shows significant average differences between men’s and women’s sexual behavior. However! This 6-page science news website slideshow brings up a lot of ways that our cultural conventional wisdom exaggerates both the magnitude of the differences between men’s and women’s sexualities and the degree to which those differences seem to have any kind of discernable “evolutionary” or biological basis that is independent of cultural factors. Here’s a selection of points from the article. (Text in quotes is from the article, but bolding and bracketed words have been added by me for clarity.)

Men don’t generally end up having more sex partners than women:

Most men don’t even report wanting to have more sex partners than most women. It’s the responses of a minority sub-population of self-reported aspiring Casanovas that drives up the average number for men:

If a woman doesn’t return your calls, it probably isn’t because you aren’t rich enough for her:

As far as whether women crave sex as much as men, one thing you have to consider is that what both men and women crave is not just sex, but enjoyable sex. And let’s face it: if only for purely mechanical reasons, enjoyable sex is much harder to come by for a woman than it is for a man.

Now, I have not really thought through the nitty gritty details of the math and such…

But its always bothered me that people in general think men are shagging left and right and women aren’t.

Uhhhh…who do (general)you people think these men are having sex with?


True enough. But when average Joe Blow is talking about all his “conquests” I doubt on average he includes hookers in the total.

And for that matter what percentage of men frequent hookers?

Seems to me if you throw out the " virtual Casanovas" and the other outliers (I slept with 20 prostitutes!) the numbers for men vs women will be pretty darn close.