Heartiste from a few years ago:
The verdict is in: Women want men to cheat on them. Oh sure, they don’t *consciously* want their men to cheat, but unbeknownst to all but the most self aware women, their ginas tingle uncontrollably for men who can — and do — score some poon on the side.In the vast majority (though likely not all, female sexual variation being what it is) of cases, there's no question that the first part of the assertion--that women tend to be attracted to men who other women are attracted to--is indisputable. Women want you to be capable of cheating. Then again, men want the women they are banging--at least the ones who arouse them more than their own pillows do--to be able to cheat, too, but if they've signed up for the relationship thing, virtually none of them actually want the women to go through with it (if you're not a regular reader here, yes, I'm quite aware that men and women are anatomically, biologically, psychologically, politically, sexually, emotionally, cognitively, etc etc different from one another).
What about the latter part, though? Do they actually want you to dip your pen in another woman's ink? It's difficult to make sense of why, from an evolutionary perspective, females would want their mates to sire offspring with (and presumably provide resources to) other women. The hindbrain isn't going to make distinctions between copulation and procreation when it comes to their men getting with other women, so this is not a straw man argument, it's the logical extension of what Heartiste claims.
The following table shows the percentages of men who were (still) married at the time of their participation in the survey by whether or not they had ever cheated on their spouses and the percentages of men who were divorced or separated when given the survey by whether or not they had ever cheated on their spouses while they were married. For contemporary relevance and racial confounding, all responses are from 2000 onward and only non-Hispanic whites are included, respectively. The relevant questions are posed in such a way that those who have never married are necessarily excluded (N = 3,218):
|White men||Still Married||Sep/Divorced|
Men from failed marriages are more than twice as likely to have cheated before those marriages officially came apart than are men from marriages that are still in tact.
No, this does not obviously constitute a refutation of Heartiste's assertion. The limitations of a broad based survey like the GSS preclude digging as deeply as would be required for us to take a shot at evaluating that.
For one, we don't have data on who initiated the divorces and separations--how frequently do the men who are cheating leave the marriage because they're ready to trade in the old ride for a new model or simply go back to leasing altogether? How frequently do the women who find out about the cheating break off the marriage as a consequence? We also lack data on if the women who have been cheated on--whether the men who did the cheating are still married or since separated or divorced--were aware of the cheating when it took place, subsequently became aware of it, or remained in the dark up to the point when the responses were given. Finally, we don't know if the married men who have cheated on a spouse were, at the time they partook in the survey, still married to the women they cheated on or if they'd divorced and then remarried someone new (though knowledge on that front would probably just accentuate the relationship between cheating and divorce rather than attenuating or inverting it).
GSS variables used: EVSTRAY(1-2), MARITAL(1)(3-4), RACECEN1(1), YEAR(2000-2012), SEX(1)