Over the past few years, I’ve witnessed a growing number of married couples in my fortysomething peer group calling it quits. Not surprisingly, infidelity is a factor in many of these breakups. What is surprising is that it’s the women — not the men– who are cheating.
Although recent high-profile scandals have involved cheating men (think John Edwards, Anthony Weiner, Arnold Schwarzenegger), a study out of Indiana University finds that women today cheat at about the same rate as men, and that the number of unfaithful women is growing. The study showed that 19 percent of married women and 23 percent of married men reported cheating, statistics that reflect a closing of the cheating gender gap. (Note: These numbers are probably on the conservative side because they reflect the percentage of people who admitted to cheating. Presumably, the numbers of unfaithful partners is higher.) Research from the 1990s found that only 10 percent of married women reported being unfaithful. According to these numbers, female infidelity may one day rival or even surpass male cheating.
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