“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

For the past two decades, the percentage of men who cheat and their reasons for doing so haven’t changed much. What about women? Surprisingly, female infidelity is on the rise and changing. Researchers estimate female infidelity has risen as much as 40% in the last two decades and is accelerating. They’ve also discovered that the reasons why women cheat have more in common with men’s reasons than previously thought. Let’s explore what might be driving this change in female infidelity.

The Privilege of Infidelity

In a time where societal privilege is a subject of focus and debate, few can deny that men have long held the “privilege” of infidelity. A man being unfaithful has been viewed by society as “what men do” and given a “boys will be boys” shrug off. While a woman being unfaithful results in much more societal damage to the woman’s reputation, having her branded as a “slut” or other slurs. As more women are fighting for and seeking societal equality and autonomy over their own bodies, the male privilege of infidelity is slipping away. There is still a stigma on women who are unfaithful but that stigma is slowly weakening.

The Reasons for Infidelity

The classic view of infidelity is that men cheat for the thrill or novelty of the experience, not out of emotional need. While women cheat to have emotional needs met or for validation they aren’t getting in their primary relationship. Recent research turns that view on its head, showing women are almost as likely as men to cheat out of desire for novelty and variety of sexual experience. The outdated notion that women only cheat for emotional reasons is being eclipsed by the number of women who are in it for the sex–just like men.

The Empowerment of Infidelity

Women can struggle just as much with monogamy as men. In the past, women married out of necessity as men were the breadwinners and providers. With just as many women in the workforce now as men, women have the financial means to provide for themselves. The necessity of marriage no longer exists and women now marry by choice. Women have been empowered with the ability to choose whether to marry or not. Many women view infidelity as a new benchmark of female empowerment, where women are equally empowered with men when it comes to cheating.

Of course, for some women who cheat, the old stereotypes hold true. However, researchers see major changes in female infidelity that are fueled by changes in our society and culture. No matter the reason, infidelity can be hurtful and damaging to a relationship. If you need to know if your partner is being unfaithful, call Bulldog PI and we’ll help you find the truth you deserve. Truly empowered people don’t need to betray a loved one’s trust.