Science is not an excuse for cheating, OK?
Cheating has been around forever and it’s probably going to be around for as long as monogamy exists. I’m not bashing monogamy, it’s just seems that monogamous relationships are the sole reason cheating is a thing. If there were no monogamy, cheating wouldn’t be a thing. Alas, that’s not the case. We live in a monogamous society where long-term coupling is highly valued. Look at the institution of marriage. It’s sole purpose is to join two people in a monogamous union. Again, not throwing any shade at marriage, but did you know that only 3% of all animals are monogamous? I’ll just leave that statistic right there for a little food for thought.
Well, once someone accepts a monogamous union, then any relationships (sexual, emotional, financial, etc.) outside of that union can be considered cheating. But why do we do it? Surely it’s not just about sex, is it? Yes, people do cheat simply for sex, but there’s so many underlying factors that it’s hard to pinpoint sex as the only reason, or catalyst for cheating. As it turns out, there’s plenty of reasons people stray out of their union.
Mostly it has to do with dopamine, you know the ‘happy hormone.’ You get a little shot of dopamine after pleasurable activities like exercise, eating, and orgasm (especially orgasm!). There’s a specific type of gene that certain people possess that encourages cheating because of the dopamine release it offers. The video does an excellent job breaking down the science behind the act of cheating.
Besides the brain functions behind cheating, there are certain circumstances that encourage people to cheat. Did you know that money is a key factor in cheating? Well, it is. Men who make significantly more money than their partners are more likely to cheat. There’s a flip side to that coin though. Stay-at-home dad’s are more likely to cheat also. Meaning, the further two people are in terms of financial success or career aspirations, the more likely there is to be cheating in the relationship. Not so encouraging, huh?
Don’t forget about the common causes: emotional baggage from former relationships, unresolved emotional issues, and intoxication (can’t forget about intoxication!).
Consider that the statistics in the video are geared toward traditional relationships, meaning straight relationships between a man and woman. Unfortunately, there just hasn’t been enough study of mixed-gender and mixed-orientation relationships to say if these trends continue over into non-traditional relationships. Hopefully that will change soon as society comes to recognize and value these types of relationships more than it did in the past.
Don’t let the numbers get you down. You don’t have to be a statistic. Practice open communication, regularly evaluate your relationship, and always make yourself available to your partner when they need some support.