Men more likely to cheat if they earn less than their wives

Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2010 11:20 am
Men more likely to cheat if they earn less than their wives
By Matthew Moore, Telegraph co.uk
17 Aug 2010

Husbands who earn less than their partners are up to five times more likely to cheat, the report found.

Researchers believe that some men seek out affairs to compensate for the emotional pain that comes with losing their traditional breadwinner status.

With recent figures indicating that more than 2.7 million British women earn more than their partners, such infidelities are becoming increasingly common.

Controversially, the Cornell University study also found that campaigns to close the wage divide between men and women may have a destabilising effect on marriage.

The secret to a loyal and lasting relationship is for women to earn 25 per cent less than their husbands, the researchers established. As that gap narrows, it becomes more likely the man will be unfaithful.

But the image of the underachieving husband pushed into an affair by the success of his high-flying wife is only part of the picture, the researchers found.

Men who earn significantly more than their wives are also more likely than average to take a mistress, because – like the billionaire golfer Tiger Woods, who admitted "transgressions" with several women while married – they have the freedom and money to sustain a surreptitious affair.

Christin Munsch, the sociologist who led the study, said: "At one end of the spectrum, making less money than a female partner may threaten men's gender identity by calling into question the traditional notion of men as breadwinners.

"At the other end of the spectrum, men who make a lot more money than their partners may be in jobs that offer more opportunities for cheating like long work hours, travel, and higher incomes that make cheating easier to conceal."

The study found that men who were completely dependent on their female partners for income were five times more likely to cheat than husbands who contributed equally to their marriage.

Mr Munsch said: “It may be that men who make less money than their partners are more unhappy and cheat because they are unhappy.”

Conversely, women who rely on their husbands for support are actually less likely to have affairs than women whose marriages are arranged on more balanced financial footings.

Women who are entirely dependent on their husband’s salary are 75 less likely to cheat than women who contributed the majority of the household income, according to the analysis.

The researchers suggest several possible reasons for the relatively low levels of infidelity among the stay-at-home wives of wealthy men.

Many are so content with traditional marital roles that they do not see dependence as an affront to their status, while others may desire to take a lover but fear the financial consequences of discovery and divorce.

Mr Munsch said: "For women, making less money than a male partner is not threatening, it is the status quo. More importantly, economically dependent women may encounter fewer opportunities to cheat, and they may make a calculated decision that cheating just isn't worth it. If they get caught, their livelihood is at risk."

Although women still earn substantially less than men in many careers, the long-term trend points towards greater pay equality. Statistics out in June indicated that women professionals in the US will overtake their male peers in average earnings by 2024.

The Cornell University study, which is based survey answers submitted by thousands of 18- to 28-year old cohabiting and married couples in the US over the last decade, was presented yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

The results also indicated that adultery may not be as widespred as generally believed. Just 3.8 per cent of men and 1.4 per cent of women admitted having an affair in any given year. Generally, infidelity is less likely among regular churchgoers and the well educated.

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Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2010 11:34 am
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
The secret to a loyal and lasting relationship is for women to earn 25 per cent less than their husbands, the researchers established.

Or just try extra hard not to **** that irresistable, low-earning Applebee's waitress.
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Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2010 11:44 am
A scientific study has found evidence that women really do have a preference for men who are attached
Now a scientific study has found evidence that their fears are well founded, and that women really do have a preference for men who are attached.

In a phenomenon known as 'mate poaching' – but soon to be dubbed the 'Angelina Jolie effect' – women expressed a clear preference for those who were unavailable.

In the study by researchers at Oklahoma State University in the US, participants were shown a picture of a moderately attractive man or woman. Half were told the prospective mate was single and the other half were told that they were not.

Researchers Dr Melissa Burkley and Jessica Parker found that 90 per cent of women questioned were interested in a man when told he was in a relationship, compared to 59 per cent when told the same man was single.
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