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Why do men cheat on women? Show more Show less

Heterosexual infidelity is increasingly common. Statistics vary, but most estimate that 20% of married men have secret extramarital sexual relationships at one point or another. Why? This illicit betrayal can ruin lives and tear families apart. So, what drives men to cheat on women?

Men are born to cheat Show more Show less

This approach see male infidelity as hardwired into their DNA.
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Men prefer younger women

The scientific evidence is in. At any age, men are most attracted to young women.
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Context

Men of any age are most attracted to younger women. If this is a scientific fact and cheating is predicated on sexual desire, this explanation holds.

The Argument

Whatever a man's age, he will always be most attracted to women in their twenties. According to data from the matchmaking site OkCupid, women aged 24 are universally seen as the most desirable. Christian Rudder, the site's founder summarised the findings: "a man, as he gets older, searches for relatively younger and younger women. Meanwhile his upper acceptable limit hovers only a token amount above his own age."[1] Heterosexual men are predisposed to prefer younger women. It is therefore inevitable that as their partners age, men become less interested in them. The same study revealed that women remain most attracted to people their own age throughout their lives. The male predisposition for prefer younger women might also explain why men cheat as they get older, yet the opposite is true of women.

Counter arguments

As Outline reporter Rebecca Stoner explains, "the claim that men “naturally” prefer younger women is an assertion of power cloaked in the language of evolutionary psychology. It implies that a woman’s accomplishments, power, money, intelligence, and ambition are, at best, secondary commodities on the marriage market. Men, in this formulation, only get better with age."[2] Both men and women deteriorate with age. Studies show that both find people in their twenties objectively more attractive than during other points in their lives. That the idea has become so gendered, reducing the value of women to their appearance, is where we should be focusing attention. Using this defence to excuse infidelity suggests that men cannot stop themselves from having a sexual relationships with any younger woman that they see. This is untrue. There is also a further layer to the OKCupid study. As Business Insider reporter Pamela Engel notes, Rudder also found that "But there's another layer to this data. Although men at every age seem to be attracted to very young women, they most often message women who are closer to their own age." This exposes the difference between attraction and intent to act on that attraction. The two are not obviously linked. Finally, were this the conclusive reason that people cheat, infidelity would exclusively take place between older men and younger women. This is not the case.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Cheating is predicated on sexual attraction [P2] Biologically, all men are most sexually attracted to younger women [P3] Cheating happens dude to biological factors

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Cheating does not exclusively take place between older men and younger women

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/dataclysm-shows-men-are-attracted-to-women-in-their-20s-2014-10?r=US&IR=T
  2. https://theoutline.com/post/6061/older-men-younger-women-evolution-or-bullshit?zd=1&zi=o2h6pyio

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This page was last edited on Friday, 22 May 2020 at 11:36 UTC