Cheaters Lie, Statistics Don’t: Women Now (Officially) Creeping As Much As Men

October 22, 2012  |  

Source: iStock

So it’s been said for a hot minute now that women cheat as much as men, and now there’s a statistic to back it up. The Wall Street Journal peaked into this issue of infidelity over the weekend and, based on a 2011 study from Indiana University, the Kinsey Institute and the University of Guelph, found the statistical word on cheating is that 23% of men are doing it and 19% of women. So yeah, not much difference.

What is different is the numbers that were reported just one year prior, albeit from a different source. In 2010, the General Social Survey, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, found 19% of men had been unfaithful at some point during their marriage  which was actually a decrease from 21% in 1991. Women on the other hand were increasing their sexcapades, with a reported 14% having had an affair, up from 11% in 1991.

Whether that figure really did jump 5% in one year is hard to say because at the end of the day these surveys are basically asking people to confess to going back on their marriage vows and most people can’t handle that type of honesty, whether their identity is anonymous or not. That’s why researchers believe the real figures regarding the number of men and women who are cheating are likely higher than these annual surveys and studies indicate. But to look at things positively, at least in terms of what’s being reported, more people are seemingly faithful than unfaithful.

Even though TLC was up on the whole “Creep” thing way back in ’94, there may be a reason women are starting to follow that line of thinking in droves in recent years. As the WSJ writer notes:

In my own work as a psychologist and in my social circle, I see more women not only having affairs but actively seeking them out. Their reasons are familiar: validation of their attractiveness, emotional connection, appreciation, ego—not to mention the thrill of a shiny new relationship, unburdened by the long slog through the realities of coupledom.

Researchers also point to other factors that might be leading women to stray more. One is what might be called “infidelity overload.” Scan the plots on any given week in television, and there seems to be more extramarital sex than marital sex. (Few spouses stay put in “Mad Men.”) With women portrayed as eager participants and aggressive instigators, there may be a feeling that infidelity has become more acceptable.

And then there is the opportunity factor—more travel, more late nights on the job and more interaction with men mean that the chances and temptations to stray have multiplied for the new generation of working women.

There’s also another theory out there that women just feel differently about relationships these days — or are more comfortable finally expressing thoughts they’ve had all along.

According to a study conducted earlier this year by the biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, women are becoming less traditional about relationships. Men, interestingly, may be going the other direction. In the survey, 77% of women in a committed relationship said they needed personal space, as opposed to 58% of men. While 35% of women wanted regular nights out with friends, only 23% of men said the same.

Social networks are another factor, if only by expanding the pool of possible partners. Emotional friendships that turn physical are the traditional point of entry for female affairs. It is now easy for those friendships to take root online. Some argue that social networks are merely an expediter and that cheaters will always find a way.

I’m with the last point. In my female bias, I’ve always argued (to my male friends) that women are more reactionary cheaters and only creep when they’ve been cheated on or are looking for something they’re missing at home but I only theoretical proof of that. Let these statistics tell it, girls just wanna have fun — with someone other than their husband.

What do you think?

*Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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  • RealityCheck

    Women are the absolute Worst when it comes to Cheating.

  • Truth

    Women Cheat much more than men do these days because they are very Starved for Attention.

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  • vany

    And then the same women here defending that will ask men to marry them before impregnanting , to treat them like ladies , to step up and “be a man”, if you want to act like men and carry yourself reckless , don’t be surprised to be treated like one……SMH

  • JettMane

    i expect domestic murder rates to go up also.

  • JustSayin

    I see it happening all the time. Men & women tend to get comfortable. They fall into a routine. The same things that made the relationship are now lost in translation. But unfortunately; that is both sides fault. Women expect their husband to read their minds while men expect women to read theirs. Communication tends to decrease as the years increase but everyone rationalizes it by saying, “Oh they should know what I want by now.” When women & men seek out other partners it is normally because they need validation. They want their ego boosted, someone to care about them and someone who appreciates the little things. It is also; they want to escape the life they live just long enough to remember what it feels like to be with someone new. That and in today’s day and age people are so impatient, so demanding and just so ready for the next “big thing” that they don’t wait to fix what they have. They are just waiting to upgrade.

  • Bishop

    What I find funny is women on here justifying cheating as way guarding against the pain a man could cause them if they messed up. Cheating may it be physical or mental is one the most selfish and callous acts a person can do to another. And on top of that women are also saying what’s good for men are good for women. We’ll how is two wrongs going to fix anything? Also with all these STD’s out here why would a person in they’re right mind put themselves and their partner in jeopardy knowingly? It’s time to take responsibility for actions people, if your cheating leave or stop. Go get tested know your status and then start working on your character. Because a cheater has some serious character flaws such as honesty, integrity, a lack of loyalty and self-esteem issues.

    • Who is teaching about honesty, integrty, loyalty or self esteem ESPN, NCAA, NFL,NBA or maybe the Boy scouts? Maybe MTV is teaching those values or BET? Be real about it socially we are corrupt as a society. Infidelity is not a good option for either sex, but nether are the sorry reasons that so many use to justify getting married in the first place.

  • Candacey Doris

    I don’t think cheating is ok for either gender. This just means that 19% of women are just as wrong as 19% of men. And while you can blame tv, the double standard, your SO, the only person to blame is just YOU. If you married the wrong person and are now unhappy in your marriage, attempt counseling. If it fails, get out of the relationship. Divorce sucks, but adultery is worse.

  • Kells

    Women have been cheating. There have always been a stigma about women who sleep around so its been always kept hush hush except between girlfriends. Now that society is pretty much open to every and anything people just don’t care anymore. Women are also smarter at not gettign caught cheating than men. So thats also another reason why all the focus have been on men being the cheaters

    • Its more that women feel that the consequences of getting caught are less than in previous generations. Odds are she has a career makes her own money and can support herself if they divorce. Coupled that with how there is a growing percent of households in which the women are the breadwinners or make more money than their husbands you will see this rise.

  • All of this sex and cheating and no one is really happier. What’s the point?

  • Pingback: Women Now (Officially) Creeping As Much As Men | Relationship Voice()

  • ClarkKent1017

    If you are dominated by the mind you will then elect to be dominated in the terms of the mind.. This doesn’t select whether you are a man or woman.. you are electing to not listen inside yourself and hence are disconnected in form.. you will then seek out a relationship that will keep you open to non committal of self.. It isn’t about the other person not meeting needs not meeting how you feel.. it is about you not meeting them within yourself! This is all false that someone else is responsible for keeping your happiness, you are more than your incessant need to feel a second of bliss.. the thrill in excitement of doing something taboo is a thought process of never seeing yourself. It is a choice. So as I see the statistics I feel that it is a percent of choice. Not a choice of yourself but of not going within so you will never be without!

    • Deep.

      • ClarkKent1017

        Depth is the point my friend… what you fail to hear deep within always will show you in your actions that you do outside. the choice to be healed! This is something anyone can do man or woman.. yet if your mind noise is in dominance of self! You will then continue to do the same very things.. ignore this and you ignore what you are doing to the other person in the relationship but most of all to yourself…. Isn’t it time to evolve?

  • lol at “making it official” women have been cheating as much as men. now they just arent scared to talk about it. (shrug) All these reasons being given for women cheating begs the question: “why stay in a relationship if you are unhappy?” especially if no kids are involved. To me life is to short to be unhappy be it bf/gf or in marriage. just part ways before the situation can turn into something ugly. Im really starting to think that there are alot of women out there who are mental masochists.

  • Princess

    I’m sure that’s been the case some women are smarter and know how to keep quiet

  • Pingback: [Sex Love & Heartache Chronicles] Cheaters Lie, Statistics Don’t: Women Now (Officially) Creeping As Much As Men | Z 107.9()

  • That’s very true. I think it’s been like that but now that it’s more acceptable women feel more comfortable admitting it and talking about it. Is not as taboo as it used to be. I’ve always thought that women cheat as much as men just for different reasons. I read online a statistic that said men are opportunistic cheaters. They cheat because the situation presents its self and because they can’t defeat temptation. Women are emotional cheaters. They cheat because either their man isn’t doing something right or they want to believe they “still got it”. I believe more and more people are cheating because it’s becoming acceptable these days. I also read a survey where women and men had several reasons they’d divorce or break up. But when asked about infidelity many people they’d stay.

  • real rap

    i used to believe the mantra that women only cheat because something missing at home. that may be true for some but i think the increase is due to more woman being honest about infidelity and due to the change in their outlook about sex…their views are now more in line with men meaning they are ok with a one nite stands, FWB is cool, sex with someone ur not emotionally connected to is no big deal,having multiple partners over the same time frame & at the same time is no longer taboo or frowned upon. in fact many fantasize about 3somes. none of that has anything to do with ‘something missing at home’. in support of my opinion i give u maury…’u are NOT the babys father’. so many of these sistahs have no clue who the fathers are simply because they have been about the things listed above.

  • Torontochick

    I was in a long-term relationship with a man who had no sex drive and I was unfaithful. It was really just about the sex and getting what was not being provided to me in my relationship. I am now with a man who has an equal sex drive and have no intention of ever being unfaithful.

    But I don’t judge cheaters – male or female – as much as I used to after my experience. It’s easy to judge but not everyone knows the pain of being consistently sexually rejected and what it does to your self-esteem. Your self-respect is the next thing to go, and that’s often when infidelity occurs.

    • You can’t blame this on his lack of sex drive. You cheated because you wanted to and had very little to no respect much less love for him. The moment the newness of your current relationship wears off and the sex decreases you will once again go looking for validation in someone else’s bed. I don’t judge you but you cant heal or learn from that experience if you are not honest.

      • Torontochick

        Actually, I was very honest about both my experience and the way it has impacted my viewpoint. Just because my experience doesn’t align with your stereotype of how I should feel or what my character should be, doesn’t mean that I’m not being honest. It just means that you’re an intellectual bully who thinks you can dogmatize or shame people into NOT being honest. Furthermore, my love and respect for the man I cheated on continues now in spite of the fact that we were romantically incompatible, which is why remain friends. How arrogant one must be to presume to know a stranger better than they know themselves.

        • Judging by how offended you are I must have hit a nerve I don’t presume to know you I based my response off of what you typed. If you think cheating on someone you claim you love is respectful that’s between you and him. I for one would not do that. I’m not better than you nor does that make me more righteous. It just means I don’t love men I don’t respect. You must have a different view of love. Cheating however, does make you a liar and a deceiver. Those words hurt but they are the truth. I wish you much luck in your new relationship.

          Do some personal growth though for real. I get that if you aren’t getting what you want you should look for other options. All I’m saying is if you have a modicum of respect for your partner you do them the honor of ending things BEFORE you hop on something else or have a discussion about them allowing you to see other men to get your needs met. Best wishes to you (and I mean it)

          • Torontochick

            Perhaps you can point out where I claimed that cheating on someone you love is respectful? It seems to me that what is lacking is actually your reading comprehension, but judging from the fact that you’ve commented on nearly everyone’s post on this thread, it’s pretty self-evident that you’re posting from a place of both bitterness and insecurity, and that’s where your comments directed at me arise from.

            I’ve been in your position in the past, very reactionary at the mere mention of the word cheating, commenting on various articles about it, going on witchhunts for anyone who deviated from what I felt was the appropriate script on the topic, and I know that that was coming from a place of needing to feel in control at how utterly out-of-control and vulnerable relationships made me feel. The fact is, I know better now. Having lived a few more years, I know that circumstances are not black-and-white, people are not always just “good” or “bad,” and lecturing strangers on the internet (in an effort to create more cultural stigma, which is what the real motive is) about cheating is not going to ultimately be able to exert control over my partner or future partner’s behaviour. Are you honest enough with yourself to examine the same?

            • LOL. No I’m not insecure or anything of the sort. Any perceived slights you believe I have dealt to you are purely works of your imagination or guilty conscious. I just saw you pretty much blamed him for you stepping out. Whatever your reasoning was it wasn’t good enough. You don’t treat someone you love that way.

              Now that I’ve made that clear, I hope that whatever lead you to feel your only option was to cheat has since been remedied and you have a long and fruitful relationship. I don’t begrudge you for doing whatever the hell it is you want to do as a grown woman. I simply responded to a post you made about why you cheated.

              As for how many times I responded *shrugs* I often respond to posts on topics that interest me.

              • Torontochick

                Again, you are not familiar with the situation, but keep positioning yourself as though you are and can paint everyone with the same broad brush because you ARE judgmental, you ARE arrogant, and you very much ARE insecure. Who appointed you judge and jury of every individual person’s relationship? Were you there when he told me that if I were ever to cheat, he would not want me to tell him about it? He would want me to keep it to myself and live with the guilt? Were you there when I told him and let the chips fall where they may? No you were not, but you’re certainly there to tell me how I felt about him, or to tell everyone that makes a mistake or chooses momentary escapism for whatever their reason may be, that they could not possibly have been capable of love.

                As for why you feel the need to police everyone who posts a comment or a personal experience you disagree with with a self-righteous lecture *shrugs* all I can say is that once again, I recommend that you examine *why* particular topics interest you so greatly. Because it’s patently obvious that you are insecure.

          • Torontochick

            Cheating made me a liar and a deceiver – until I told my (now-ex) the truth. I was in an unsustainable situation and a toxic relationship with a verbally abusive man who also sexually rejected me more often than he made love to me. He was also a huge stoner. In spite of this, though, he was not a bad person, he was like a lot of us – human, fallible, a work-in-progress. He is working on being a better man now and I wish him nothing but the best in the future. As I mentioned in my FIRST post that you felt the need to respond to, I did not have respect for myself at the time, so where in that did you interpret me as saying that I respected HIM? At that difficult point in my life, I was economically dependent and struggling and emotionally and psychologically damaged – contrary to your – again, arrogant and presumptuous comment above – I did not cheat because I had money, I STAYED because I did not. Having already looked within and done the necessary self-reflection after the relationship, and being several years older than I was when I began that relationship, I am more confident in my ability to select a compatible partner for the right reasons and to heed early “red flags” so that I am equally confident in my ability to remain faithful to a partner in the future. My initially-stated opinion remains so – I do not judge cheaters because cheaters are like anyone else – human. And human beings sometimes make mistakes, especially in stressful or adverse personal circumstances. This explicitly defined perspective is clearly offensive to you, and I think you should really take a look at WHY that is.

            If you feel the need to tell me more about my character, future behaviour, and circumstances than I know about myself, please go right ahead. As I pointed out in my last reply to you, I know that being a person who feels utterly helpless and out-of-control and looking to reclaim some of it, it will be cathartic for you.

            Good luck.

            • Ok. Thank you for sharing. Again, if YOU felt cheating was your best option then more power to you. If someone was as f**ked up as you state he was why you would want someone like that as even a casual acquaintance is beyond my comprehension.

              I stand by what I said about cheaters being liars and deceivers no matter what excuse or justification they’ve convinced themselves of. He may have been all that you described and then some but if you ‘loved’ him you would have ended things before betraying him and you would have been right to do so.

              You’ve just confirmed what I said in my first response. You lost respect for him somewhere along the way and gave yourself permission to feel good either by hook or by crook. I think yours is a sad situation. I hope you’ve grown past that way of dealing with your relationship problems. Good day and good luck to you and yours. 🙂

              • Torontochick

                Really, it should be completely obvious to you why I would want someone like that as a friend. As a huge advocate of total self-sacrifice as a symbol of love (isn’t that you think a person should remain sexless until they are in a position to leave their non-functioning relationship always in all circumstances with no exceptions or else they’re subject to ridicule and condescension by you? Because it’s about “love” and not about judgment or enforcing rigid rules to calm your insecurities about relationships?), you should know that someone struggling to make an effort to improve themselves and be a better, more responsible and less abusive person could use the support of a friend, particularly someone who knows them best and believes in their potential to change.

                My point is merely thus: I stand by what I said the FIRST time. People do all sorts of things that are thoughtless towards their partners all the time, and it’s not a black-and-white situation where only cheaters are wrong and the other party if having been faithful is faultless. We BOTH have regrets about the way we handled the relationship. But it was a painful growth experience for both of us. I’m not any more ‘wrong’ in how I behaved in the relationship than he was, and having been in an emotionally abusive relationship, I don’t agree that cheating is the absolute worst thing you can do to your partner. I think at best it’s on par with a lot of other really s****y things one can do to their partner and shouldn’t. I know you would be faaar more comfortable if I hated my ex’s guts and never spoke to him again, if everything and everyone always fit neatly into little boxes of “good” and “bad,” but unless you have walked a mile in EVERY PERSON’S shoes, keep your damn judgment and your snide comments to yourself. You need to work on your empathy and humility and you have a heck of a lot of growing up to do.

                • “Because it’s about “love” and not about judgment or enforcing rigid
                  rules to calm your insecurities about relationships?)”

                  No “insecurity” is living with and more sadly, DEPENDING on a man who abuses you. Instead of being secure and knowing you deserve better and can do better you cheated and now want to play the victim. No you didn’t cheat on him really. You cheated on yourself. You didn’t think you were worth better. The fact that you acknowledge you stayed for financial reasons only makes it worse.

                  If you’ve grown from that good. But please do own it. Woman up. You cheated because ultimately you wanted to. You stayed because you wanted to. Those are the facts those are the truths.

                  You are correct when it comes to certain things like how I allow others to treat me and more importantly how I treat myself, I am very black and white about that. I treat myself good so I only allow others into my world who will do the same.

                  From your responses to me thus far it seems you went through a lot of pain. I do sympathize with you and I’m glad that you appear to now be in a good place. I hope that you continue to prosper and that you are treating yourself like the queen that you are.

                  • Torontochick

                    My point was merely this: without knowing a damn thing about me or my relationship history, you felt completely comfortable approaching me and succinctly telling me all about my character, my relationship and my capacity for loyalty in future relationships.

                    This type of rush judgment and outspokenness is clearly a byproduct of both you projecting your own innate insecurity in relationships/terror of being cheated on, as well as a culture that enables it and has gotten far too comfortable with armchair villification and bullying.

                    • Again you have several reasons, and I’m sure you feel they are GOOD reasons for what you did. What I challenge you with is you didn’t cheat on him you cheated on yourself. You used your body in a careless way because you didn’t value yourself. Let’s be really clear on what happens when a woman cheats. You cheapen yourself and debase yourself because one. you signed a lease and couldn’t cover the rent/expenses without his help two. you didn’t have enough faith in and self-esteem within yourself to know that you do not have to settle for that under ANY circumstances.

                      I’m not as young as you assume. I’ve been married just shy of 6 years with him for almost 9 know him for 12, I’m not a stranger to relationships nor am I naive about them. The only difference between my dating history and yours is I saw the signs early on and never deluded myself that I could love a man out of it or put more love into a man than I was willing to put into myself. We can go around and around about this matter, but the fact is there is never , ever, ever an excuse to cheat. You don’t remain faithful for him, you do it for you because you know your worth.

  • Women have advantages that men once had. Women are career bound and educated now with gives them as much leeway and access to things than before. Roles are beginning to change. The “end of men” really isn’t a myth.

    • MLS2698

      People say the divorce rate is high, but the increase is not because of any real changes in the relationships; it’s because of what you stated about careers and education. Women have always been abused, but had few avenues to escape because of the lack of resources. Now that women are gaining new ground, they are most likely to file for divorce first. And cheat too. Yes, roles are changing.

      • vany

        So in fact, given the power , women act just like men, so they are not better than them.

  • Only

    These are sad times. Its bad enough that some males are playing the selfish irresponsible role of “I can cheat but you can’t” especially when that behavior alone has contributed to greatly to the beginnings of feminism… The same thing many males claim broke up family structure.. when family structure was broken up because instead of treating women like complements or half of a whole they’ve been treated like spoils of war. Back then women got “tired of it” and started trying to “liberate” themselves from oppression which only ended up in them being the oppressor with no progress and now they are doing the same thing they know causes the destruction of a home. Smh. I dont see anything good coming out of this situation .

  • Alexa

    Women are tired of societal double standards. For years men have been allowed to be habitual cheaters while a lot of women turned a blind eye to their partners extramarital affairs and/or have tried to make it work, and we all know how that turns out. I think that some women have honestly realized that if their spouse can selfishly decide to step out of their marriage and carry out affairs then why not do the same? Is it right? Of course not. But until men are really held accountable for stepping outside of their marriage then I think these numbers of women cheating will just continue to grow. Also this is not to take away from the fact that some women are simply just low down cheaters.

    • ElvisWasAHero2Most

      Agreed. Couple women’s long term frustration with infidelity with the growing economic power women now have (a power that was once exclusive to men) and that equals the jump in stats. Not surprised at all.

      • Adrina

        Absolutely, I’m not surprised either bc of of this reason. I remember my grandmother telling me how often men cheated (and even had children), and of course most women weren’t working or how women are now, so they dealt with it. She said it’s much better now lol

        • c’mon people the double standards are on both size. just because guys have male privilege doesn’t make the woman right for cheating.

    • KIR12

      The only problem with that is 8 out of 10 husbands would be outie of the marriage if they found out. Doing it out of spite can lead to a life altering outcome. There are some husbands who have cheated and still had successful long-term marriages. Bill Clinton, Denzel, Jesse Jackson ect,ect, ect. The truth is probably more married men have cheated at one time or another than those who have remained 100% monogamous. There are different levels of cheating. Is his cheating infrequent and is he discrete or is he throwing it in your face? Not saying it’s right or wrong just stating the obvious.

      • there’s plenty of guys who stayed with untrustworthy women lol….

    • vany

      Like women didn’t cheat in the past!

  • Janay

    Truth be told, women by nature will nourish what has been given to them. And whats been given to women is many years of suppression and disrespect, degradation and a false idea that they should remain faithful while men step out and do what they want. I dont believe in double standards for any group so if men do it, it sounds like women started to smarten up. Women are only going to put up for something for so long before they start to turn the tables on you.

  • Monstadon

    Women BEEN creeping as much as men. More of them are just being honest about it.

    Where do you think that old tale about the baby looking like the milkman/postman come from?

    SMH @ thinking women are somehow ‘better’ than men in this regard.


  • Hun3y

    I think more women are starting to realize that they need to be aware of what THEY need and want. I don’t condone cheating at all, but I feel like the playing field is finally being leveled out, with more women know seeing that they don’t have to sit around and accept that it’s “ok” for a man to explore his options, women are finally realizing that they have options too. Not saying they should cheat, but they should recognize that men are not the only ones with options, women have options too, so men need to start stepping up their game.

    • exploring the field is NOT cheating,

    • ridiculous, women will cheat if they want, regardless of the amount of game being stepped up. Simply because cheaters cheat, there will allllwaayyyysss be someone who has something you want that your mate does not possess. It is that simple, the problem is that many women are not woman enought o admit that are just dirty dogging it out. Atleast most men achknowledge it, women still want to have the victim benefits while being the aggressors in the cheating game now.

  • Nope

    Also, men cheat for the same reason women have so many shoes.

  • Nope

    According to women all cheating is still the man’s fault. If he cheats, he’s a b*stard for not realizing how awesome his woman was. If she cheats, it was because he was a b*stard for not realizing how awesome she was.

    • vany

      EXACTLY!They never take responsibility for anything!

    • LOL!

  • Meyaka

    I don’t believe in cheating,but since men thinks its okay.why not? Yay women.

    • TRUTH IS

      We are soo similar in our views…lol

      • Meyaka

        That’s true lol I’m going follow you.

    • MLS2698

      Yeah, well, men can’t hardly handle it the way some women have put up with it. True liberation, huh?

      • Meyaka


    • vany

      STOP IT! I’m so sick and tired of women using this excuse to carry
      themselves like cheap prostitutes!!! We are WOMEN for crying out loud!
      We are Mother of the EARTH! We can’t afford to lower our standards and
      go triflin with random men because our men do it! If you can’t take the
      cheating then LEAVE! have some pride! We are really lost as a

      • Meyaka

        You’re right, but as I stated”I personally don’t believe in cheating.”,but could see how women would want revenge.

        • MLS2698

          Yes, I don’t believe in it either. I divorced my cheating ex-husband. Just wanted to make that clear in case someone thought we were trying to defend the subject matter.

    • britt

      Two wrongs don’t make a right

    • Trisha_B

      But women are getting knocked up in the process of their cheating to get back at their man, then crying on maury b/c they don’t know who the father of their child is or having their man raise the child they know is not his…i don’t get the point of cheating, man or woman. If you want to roam the fields, don’t be selfish & don’t get in a relationship.

      • Meyaka



    *evil grin* Women smarten up…