Why Are Women Cheating More?
Female infidelity may one day rival male cheating.
Posted May 19, 2010
First, I'm not sure that the rates of actual female infidelity are increasing as much as we think. What might be increasing is our awareness of it. For thousands of years, women have suffered horrific social punishments when caught in infidelity. Unfaithful women were raped, prostituted, beaten, mutilated, ostracized and killed by brutal means, from strangulation to stoning. Even in the past hundred years of increasing sexuality research and knowledge, infidelity has remained a very secretive behavior, especially for women. Estimates of infidelity are still widely regarded as suppressed estimates, due to the fear and shame people have about acknowledging past unfaithful sexual behavior.
It is safe to that female infidelity was not actually as rare as we are often told. In the book Wanton Wenches and Wayward Wives, by G. R. Quaife, the author describes the high degree of female infidelity that he found reflected in legal records of 17th century England. In my own book, Insatiable Wives, I describe the many women through history who used power, privilege and wealth to pursue infidelity in situations where they did not have to fear social consequences for being unfaithful. But, historically, women simply did not have the freedom to be openly unfaithful.