Why do Men cheat?

Comments
Cheating

From Arnold Schwarzenegger to Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Tiger Woods, the sexual escapades of powerful men have weakened governments, ruined marriages and destroyed careers.

The world is awash in outrageous tales of alpha males risking everything in the pursuit of that most bases of goals: sexual gratification. While the circumstances may differ, the question always remains the same – what were they thinking?

As a man, there is no right way or wrong way for me to say this, but personally I think sex is overrated. Sex is human nature; it’s in our genes to have sex freely and openly. It’s society and upbringing that has conditioned us to stay monogamous, but we were never wired that way. There are some people who find it wrong to have sex openly and freely (I for one am not that person), while others have no issue with having sex with someone based simply on attraction and pure desire, despite being in a committed relationship..

We see this scenario all the time. A man is happily married or in a committed relationship. Loves his spouse/girlfriend, loves them to death, will do anything for them, but for some reason he has girl(s) on the side. Is he cheating? Well, in today’s standards, yes, he is cheating, but in reality, it comes down to what that person considers cheating.

If most men are like me, cheating is when ones emotion gets tied into the whole equation.  If you are in-love with your partner and you sleep with someone based simply on human nature (no emotion) then how can it be cheating? You’re only cheating physically, which really isn’t cheating — is it?

Thinking  this way probably explains why more men cheat than women. It’s easier for men to not get emotionally involved in their sexcapades. In-fact, it’s difficult for most men to get emotionally involved in their current relationships, which is probably why we find it difficult to “settle down”, “tie the knot”, or simply commit in the first place.

So where do people draw the line. Everyone has their own code of ethics on “cheating”. In my opinion, If two willing people enter a sexual relationship (despite having current partners), and it doesn’t go beyond the lust, or physical/chemical attraction, (not emotionally cheating, no love) then it’s just human nature. I don’t see anything wrong with a guy being in a loving relationship with one person, while having a “Mistress” on the side. Especially when the person on the side is simply there for one thing… sex.

Nature shows us that humanity’s closest animal relatives, the primates, have a polygamy rate of 80%. In fact, it’s common practice amongst human hunter-gatherer societies to have such a high percentage. Only about 3-5% of known animal species exhibit monogamous pair-bonding. Even in species where pairs are supposed to mate for life, the majority of “individuals” cheat.

Okay, at this point you are probably asking yourself, “Who is the guy that wrote this?” I understand the human nature argument will only get me so far. One could argue that men used to walk around pant-less and barefoot, while beating each other with clubs — which obviously isn’t happening these days. I also understand that many men do remain faithful, and maybe people like me are the bad guys. So what makes us tick? Is it a behavioural or a biological problem? Can counselling for instance get a man to stop cheating? What does our friend science has to say.

Science and sociologists say when it comes to human beings; monogamous pairings have been standard practice in less than 20% of sampled societies. Monogamy is normal in western societies, but across the world… two person unions is a relatively new convention. Sociologists say that men and women used to marry for financial and social status reasons, not because of love (cough* Real Housewives, cough*). In these types of relationships cheating was expected and even accepted as long as discretion was considered.

So, It all comes back to the question I brought up earlier – what do you consider cheating? Well CBC’s DOC ZONE thinks they might have the answer. They are doing a “Why Men Cheat”, documentary that will explore the difference between social and sexual monogamy and probes why powerful men consider themselves immune from the rules of society, while also investigating the biochemistry of human attraction, and revealing what role testosterone and brain chemistry play in sexual risk-taking.

“The film will provoke very strong reactions from different points on the spectrum, in part because it takes a very non-judgmental look at the reasons that men struggle with monogamy,” says Marc de Guerre (Gemini award-winning filmmaker).

The new documentary will take a trip throughout history, where promiscuity and multiple partners have been the norm. It will hopefully answer some questions like; does the existence of a promiscuity gene make men mere prisoners of their biology? Why does the exchange of female sex for male power still hold such powerful sway?  .

“It turns out that these reasons are both incredibly simple and incredibly complicated at the same time, and the material is, by its very nature, highly provocative.”

“Why Men Cheat” is a crash course in what makes alpha males tick, and why some of them are ticking time bombs. Whether you consider cheating simply texting a co-worker, going on a run with a female friend, or smiling at the opposite sex at a grocery store — depends on where you draw your ethical line.

“Why Men Cheat” premieres Thursday January 24 at 9 pm (9:30 NT) on CBC’s DOC ZONE, with encore presentations on CBC News Net Saturday January 26 at 11 pm and Sunday January 27 at 6 pm — check it out.

Felix Kay,
Hang with Felix on Twitter: @TheFelixKay

Around the Web

About the author

Author Avatar
Felix Kay Entertainment Columnist for Vancity Buzz
@TheFelixKay

Facebook Conversations

BACK TO TOP
BACK TO TOP