An interesting paper explored predictors of marital infidelity. From the abstract:
This paper explores the cross-cultural prevalence and predictors of extramarital sexual fulfillment and in doing so tests some predictions derived from evolutionary considerations. Although most adults, across cultures, believe that infidelity, particularly by the female, is ‘wrong’ and infidelity is often the cause of divorce and violence, the behavior is widespread. Evolutionists have noted various fitness advantages to be gained from sexual infidelity. With such a strong theoretical base for specific predictions about infidelity, it is surprising that few conclusions can be drawn about the predictors of the behavior in married couples. Our study of married couples from China, Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US) revealed that love of the spouse, frequency of finding non-partners attractive, and self-reported extramarital sexual fulfillment of the spouse predicted frequency of sexual fulfillment outside of marriage. Cultural similarities and differences are discussed.
Heads up, beta males:
If your wife’s love is gone ==> cheating whore.
If your wife works in en environment filled with alpha males ==> cheating whore.
If your wife has cheated before ==> recursive cheating whore.
Infidelity of the wife has been reported to be the most common reason married couples divorce cross-culturally (Betzig, 1989).
A woman’s infidelity is a far worse infraction than a man’s infidelity, for the simple reason that a woman could bring home the concealed seedling of her extramarital lover, while a man would bring home nothing except perhaps perfume on his shirt collar or, if he chose unwisely, the clap. Plus, a cheating woman is unlikely to be able to emotionally compartmentalize her bifurcated love life in the way that cheating men are able to do; an affair by the wife is often a harbinger for divorce theft. An affair by the husband is a harbinger for his better health. These kinds of sexual double standards are an emergent property of immutable biological nature and are never going away.
The adverse fitness consequences of being a victim of the wife’s infidelity are indicated by the accompanying negative affect. In most cultures, a cuckold is ashamed (Freedman, 1967) and may be ridiculed. A strong predictor of low self-esteem in US husbands was perceived and/or actual infidelity of the wife; suspected or actual infidelity of the husband was not a significant predictor of wives’ self-esteem.
When wives cheat, it is a direct refutation of their husband’s SMV, and the low self-esteem of cuckolds confirms this reality. When husbands cheat, it may or may not be a refutation of their wive’s SMV, as men often cheat because they had the option to do so and sexual variety for its own sake is pleasing to men. (Women will never understand this: Men have strong desires for sex with a lot of different, physically attractive and nubilely fertile women. The reason most men don’t act on this male-centric desire is because they can’t. Lack of options = relationship stability.) The lesser impact of husbands’ cheating on their wive’s self-esteem testifies to this biomechanical reality.
From the paper, other predictors of infidelity:
Permissive sexual values.
Premarital sexual activity.
Low conscientiousness, narcissistic, and psychopathic women (ha ha!) are prone to infidelity.
(Women’s physical attractiveness was NOT a predictor of female infidelity. Most likely what this study has picked up is the fact that very attractive married women are hitched to high SMV men, so there are few alternative options that could effectively compete with the husbands of these women. The temptation for wives of high value husbands to cheat is weaker than it would be for wives of low value husbands.)
Socially dominant men and men high in resources tend to be unfaithful. (Options = instability.)
Low paternal investment and female economic independence are predictors of female infidelity. Quote:
For example, in matrilineal societies paternal investment typically is low, often giving rise to the avunculate, and infidelity and divorce tend to be common (Daly & Wilson, 1983; van den Berghe, 1979). Similarly, where the wife is relatively independent economically of the husband, marital bonds tend to be weak (Friedl, 1975; Goode, 1993; Seccombe & Lee, 1987) and infidelity by the wife is common.
Marital and sexual dissatisfaction are associated with infidelity.
Separate personal and occupational lives are associated as well. (Co-workers are a big threat to marital faithfulness.)
There’s a paragraph about “cads” versus “dads” life histories and its relation to infidelity:
Marital satisfaction and commitment have been associated with adopting a long-term, or slow, life history strategy (Olderbak & Figueredo, 2010), which presumably would reduce the incidence of infidelity. Possibly relevant here is the distinction between high-testosterone “cad” males who exert more short-term mating effort–seeking extramarital partners–and lower-testosterone “dad” males who are more uxorious and paternally inclined (Booth & Dabbs, 1993; Dabbs, 1992) . But “dad” males tend to earn more money and stray less, whereas Atkins et al. reported the opposite relationship between income and infidelity. Higher-income, economically independent spouses were more likely to stray (Atkins et al., 2001). Perhaps men may stray if their wealth makes them attractive or if they neglect their jobs to pursue extramarital affairs. The key for wives may be their financial independence.
Wealth and “romantic ambition” (game) are male attractiveness cues. For women, financial self-sufficiency makes them less attracted to provider beta males (dads) and more likely to risk marital disruption with alpha cad lovers.
As predicted, in all five cultures men reported greater extramarital sexual fulfillment than women. The sex difference on this variable is in agreement with men’s desire for sexual variety, and these findings are consistent with previous reports on various cultures.
Men dig lotsa twatas.
Two US historical trends do emerge from the Laumann data: wives have gained on husbands in engaging in extramarital sexual fulfillment, and infidelity per year of marriage has risen.
American women: Becoming more like non-American men by the day. (American men are becoming bronies.)
There was substantial cultural variability in frequency of reported infidelity, possibly due to a host of factors including economic state of the country, financial interdependence of the couple, financial independence of the wife, degree of wealth inequality among men, the sex ratio, sex role norms varying from liberal to conservative, and translation differences. The liberal wording of the question in the Chinese sample has been mentioned as an example of the last factor.
This fact, coupled with the practice of spouses sometimes living in separate cities for employment purposes, could at least partially explain why the infidelity rates of the Chinese are higher than those of Turkey, the UK and US.
Absence makes the cock go wander.
Similarly, the higher rate of infidelity in Russia compared to the other samples may in part be attributed to difficulty encountered by estranged couples in being able to afford divorce and/or in securing separate living quarters. Such people sometimes carry on with a spouse and family while having long-term extramarital affairs.
Russian men = alpha. Or is it the women?
Three consistent cross-cultural predictors of infidelity emerged for men and women: (a) love, (b) finding non-partners attractive, and (c) extramarital sexual fulfillment of the spouse. Men place physical attractiveness at or near the top of the list of characteristics sought in short and long-term mates, while women also value physical attractiveness in a potential mate, but place less of an emphasis on it compared with other criteria (e.g., Buss, 1989; Lippa, 2009).
One of the biggest myths believed by both red and blue pill adherents is that women value male looks as much as men value female looks.
We expected that attractive men and women would exhibit more infidelity because of their higher mate value. Previous US research has indicated that this is true of men but not women. However, we found that men’s perceiving themselves as attractive was not a consistent predictor of infidelity. Only US men who regarded themselves as attractive reported more infidelity.
My take on this result: Non-US men with high mate value are paired off with high mate value slender women, and so don’t feel as great an urge to cheat. US men with high mate value are stuck married to land whales and careerist shrikes, and cheat to alleviate their seven-minute itch.
Previous research has not indicated that attractive women engage in more infidelity; if anything, the reverse may be true.
Couple of reasons for this seemingly counter-intuitive finding: 1. High SMV women are better able to secure commitment from alpha males, and thus feel less compulsion to seek alpha male lovers on the side. 2. More attractive women feel less need for external validation from men in the form of sex and attention than do women of mediocre attractiveness, who require constant reassurance of their desirability.
Whether or not one sought sexual fulfillment outside the marriage seemed mainly to reflect amorousness toward the spouse, attractiveness of potential partners, plus the particular appeal of sexual variety to men.
Beta males rationalizing their lack of mate options as a virtue, women who project the peculiarities of their female desire onto men, and ugly feminists who loathe male desire are all disposed to misunderstand, underestimate, and disparage the natural male hunger for multitudinous pussy.
This corroborates the notion that evaluation of the mate continues into marriage, because the relative attractiveness of competing potential partners remains salient to most men and women even if they are not engaged in extramarital sex.
Kenrick and Gutierres (1980) found that men exposed to very attractive women (e.g., centerfolds, television stars) rated the attractiveness of average women lower than men who had not been exposed to the highly attractive females.
There’s a reason newlywed wives rush their husbands out to the suburbs and away from the fresh meat of the cities. It isn’t just about good schools.
Our own data show an inverse relationship between love for one’s spouse and finding others attractive, as well as between love of one’s spouse and extramarital sexual fulfillment.
Marry for love; it’s good insurance against divorce theft.
(Have you ever noticed that when you’re deeply in love with a woman, at least at the beginning, that all other women no matter how beautiful kind of recede into the background like corporate artwork?)
Infidelity and the potential resulting birth of a child carry long-term consequences for fitness and therefore are unlikely to reflect shifting environmental conditions as strongly as the quality of the mate.
The sexual market is the ur-market, most ancient and powerful. Environmental pressures would need to be severe and sustained to cause widespread shifts in sexual choices.
Another formidable factor might be infidelity of the spouse, which would pose the threat of desertion and might precipitate undertaking the countermeasure of seeking a new mate. If marriage is essentially a reproductive union [ed: changing now that gay marriage has been granted equivalent status], one would expect that sexual and amorous attraction would loom large in guiding marital behavior. The high correlations consistently obtained between sexual and marital satisfaction attest to the joint importance of these affinities.
Hot sex = warm love. And hot women = hot sex. Therefore…