, Research Paper
This a Review from an article in Newsweek 12-30-96 written by Sharon Begley “Infidelity and the Science of Cheating”
Through research psychologists and other researchers have claimed that sexual infidelity effects both men and women differently. In addition, their beliefs on sexual infidelity differ. There have been many theories about the occurrence of infidelity, and most researchers have different opinions about these theories.
Researchers from the article Infidelity and the Science of Cheating, written by Sharon Begley, have asked the following question to different ethnic groups of all ages and of both sexes: what distresses them more, emotional infidelity or sexual betrayal? The results were women find emotional infidelity more disturbing than men do, and men find sexual betrayal more disturbing than women do. These results varied slightly depending on how the question was asked, but the ratio remained almost the same.
Researchers found that men and women have different beliefs on sexual infidelity. Women believe that men think that ?love implies sex more often then sex implies love (59),? and men believe that women think that ?sex implies love about as strong as love implies sex (59)?. The difference researchers explain is that there is an existence of a jealousy gender gap. In order to explain what causes the jealousy between genders scientists are now creating tests to prove ?whether the mind?s ability to reason, rather than genes, can explain the jealousy gender gap (59).?
Scientists? theories differ on the science of sexual infidelity. Some scientists use a theory referred to as ?my genes made me think it (58).? This theory proposes that jealousy is triggered depending on our genes being passed down from Neanderthal days. Evolutionary psychologists argue that the jealousy gender gap is a legacy to humankind?s past, and these genes shape how we think feel and act. These psychologists believe the reason why men go crazy over adultery is because it is embedded into their genes. This bothers men because they can never be sure of paternity. For example, if a woman strays from her partner there are possibilities she could become impregnated. Hence, her partner would be supporting another man?s child. Another theory scientists offer to explain sexual infidelity looks at ?reasonable differences between the sexes in how they interpret evidence of infidelity (58).? This may explain the gender gap. This means that a man thinks that a woman will only have sex when she is in love, and if she has sex with someone else she loves him too. So, as Sharon Begley states, ?sexual infidelity means emotional infidelity as well (58).? However, men also believe that a woman can also have an emotionally intimate, non-sexual relationship with another man. This is what university psychologists call a ?double shot (59)? of infidelity. Therefore, sexual infidelity is more threatening to either men or women than simply emotional infidelity.
Sharon Begley believes that ?women are evolutionary programmed to become more distressed at emotional infidelity than sexual infidelity (58).? She believes this because women notice that men having sex are not necessarily in love, and that men do not form emotional attachments easily. On the other hand, if a man becomes emotionally involved with the other woman, their relationship may be jeopardized. He may desert his first wife. Consequently, it would be difficult for his first wife to bring up her children as a single parent.
This article was written to help educate our society on how men and women feel about infidelity by providing the reader with statistics and beliefs of both sexes. In addition, supplying the reader with comments and theories from psychologists, scientists, and researchers helps the reader develop an understanding of the difference of opinions on the same subject by those who study our societies.
Sharon Begley explains, in an unbiased way, how men and women feel about the subject of infidelity and their beliefs. It has been proven that men are more bothered by sexual infidelity and women are more bothered by emotional infidelity. She points out that a man feels that a woman will only have sex if she is in love, and a woman feels a man having sex is not necessarily in love. For this reason adultery bothers a woman less than it bothers a man.
Sharon Begley?s founded opinion is that ?if there is a lesson here, it may be this: be wary of single bullet theories advanced so brilliantly that their dazzle gets in the way of their content (59).? What she is implying is to not believe everything you hear. Be sure you look beneath the surface to understand the theory?s meaning. She also states that ?for all the brickbats being hurled there is some common ground between the opposing camps (59).? What she is saying here is that there are many theories on the occurrence of infidelity, and that it all boils down to be that each theory draws the same conclusion.
In my opinion, Sharon Begley does not provide the reader with substantial information. Although she includes theories, factual statements, and factual statistics, there was not much variation on the subject of infidelity, and she does not explain or educate about the science of cheating. Her arguments are weak and do not hold the reader?s interest. She misleads her readers by slightly addressing the issue of infidelity, and by not addressing the issue of the science of cheating, which is the more important part of the article.