Although Kinsey's 60-year-old statistics have since been widely debated—not to mention there was, and will always be, the assumption that the rates are actually slightly higher thanks to the people who won't come clean—he found that men were significantly more likely to cheat than women, and that opinion has remained the status quo until recently. As of 2010, however, the gender gap between unfaithful spouses seemed to be closing: 19% of men and 14% of women (up from 1991's 11%) admitted to cheating on their partner. And in 2011, a study by Indiana University and the Kinsey Institute found that the current numbers were 23% for men and 19% for women.
One reason cited for this sea change is "infidelity overload," the influx and normalization of unfaithful women in pop culture. (Mad Men is cited here, although, to be honest, Gossip Girl was what popped into my mind. Because I'm a true connoisseur of trash.) The increased numbers of women away on business was another factor in the higher female infidelity rate. And a study conducted earlier this year by cultural anthropologist Helen Fisher for Match.com reflected a laissez-faire attitude about relationships and committment from women: while 77% of women said they needed personal space, away from a partner, only 58% of men said the same. 35% of the ladies also requested nights off with friends, which 23% of men said they needed.
And finally, the Interwebs (it all goes back to the Interwebs, really) makes it much easier for women to reconnect with old flames or meet new ones on social networks. Now get me a tumbler of scotch and leave me alone, honey.
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