Saturday, 2 June 2012

Men are the biggest cheaters… aren’t they?

Growing up I believed men were the only ones who were ever unfaithful. And the stories of husbands who had left their wives and kids (including my own father) for other women seemed to back this up.

But what does the research say?

Well the most recent UK survey suggests that 15% of men have had "overlapping" relationships, but only 9% of women do so. A similar study from the US found that nearly twice as many married men have had sexual relations with someone other than their spouse than women.

Case closed?

Well, not really. The reliability of the research relies on several factors. The first is that the people surveyed actually tell the truth. Maybe women are just more likely to lie about their illicit relations than men…

While men have often been lauded for having many conquests, promiscuous women tend to be frowned upon. This may prevent some women from being unfaithful, but it is certainly likely to stop them from admitting it as readily as men.

The second is that it doesn’t take into account the frequency of the affairs. While fewer women are thought to be doing the dirty, experts suggest that the ones that do it are likely to do so on multiple occasions.

Age can also play a part. Married men tend to have affairs with younger women, who are often single. So while the man is cheating on his wife, the ‘other woman’ is not strictly guilty of adultery (although I would argue that she is equally culpable!).

Prostitution may also affect the statistics, with around 4% of men thought to be paying for sex. If these men are married and the women aren’t, then that could add to the deficit. This of course assumes that fewer women pay for sex than men.

Head of the American General Social Survey, Tom Smith, suggests there are some clues to the people who are most likely to cheat, suggesting that a lack of religious conviction might somehow be connected to unfaithfulness…

"Among the groups that are more likely to be unfaithful are the less religious and people who are separated from their spouses for extended periods, such as by travelling or working away from home," he says.

So what does the Bible say about infidelity? Hebrews 13:4 says this: “Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

Jesus himself said: “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6).   

Finally, the Bible makes it clear we can be unfaithful even if we don’t cheat on our partners. Anything we do – whether in secret or in public – that goes against God’s Word makes us unfaithful.

The good news is, God is full of mercy!

Leviticus 26: 40-44 says: “But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me … I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God.”

Because Jesus died for our sins, we can be cleansed from our unfaithfulness – whatever that might be – and have our relationships with God and (hopefully) other people restored.

Read more from Joy in the next issue of Sorted magazine.


  1. Being unfaithful is a sign that some people are never happy, whether it's a man or woman. We are always looking for the wonderful moment, the thrilling experience, the moment that will excite us; and when it doesn't come, some people get bored.

    Of course, I think that when people cheat, there could be a number of reasons for it. Part of Christian living is accepting that, in some cases, life can be mundane, commonplace and it isn't always exciting or fast-paced; to me, we need to learn to live every moment and see it as a gift from God, whether it's always 'exciting' or not. Being celibate may seem utterly boring and impossible to some people, but it's what God demands from single people. Instead of complicating life, celibacy makes life simple. Whatever the world does or doesn't do, a Christian's first duty is to serve God, wherever He has placed us and whatever situation we find ourselves in.

  2. this may be true but men should learn to hold their dicks and keep their ball in their pants, for a marriage can only work if and when the parties in it are both serious and take it as a real matter

  3. Women cheat the same..I know from both ends...the one women I cheated with was also cheating on her girlfriend..but as usual she takes her back...and recently two weeks before they were to get married, shes had been cheating on her with me..for 8 months..I told her gf and she still took her back.not only do women cheat they can be stupid

  4. Most women are the Worse when it comes to Cheating, and they're very good at hiding it too.