We judge him but why do we cheat?

Many well-known, but also unknown, Dutch people are nowadays socially defamed for their adulterous affairs or actions. We made our judgment about cheating quite easily. The phrase “cut the relationship and never look back” sounds like a quick relationship, but practically it doesn’t always work out that simple. But why are we actually cheating? And if your partner cheats on you? Did you wake up then?

Is cheating the nature of the beast? We can probably explain this better by looking at the animal. Professor Lisbeth Sterk is a behavioral biologist affiliated with the University of Utrecht. She investigates topics such as adultery and relationships from the animal kingdom. Because we can learn a lot from animals. There are many mating systems in nature, one of which is monogamy. For example, gibbon monkeys and many birds prefer a monogamous mating system. It was believed that these monogamous species were really loyal to each other. However, this turned out to be not true. “In the 1980s, he discovered in hedge sparrows that eggs don’t always come from the same father.” According to Sterck, there is always some degree of adultery in monogamous systems.

Why do people cheat?

The behavioral biologist explains that cheating has evolutionary benefits. “Animals sometimes have children from another person simply because they have better qualities than the partner. The motivation behind cheating is better genes.” But does this mean that cheating is acceptable? Because biology allows it? „While it can be useful to a cheater, it is not fun for both single men and women if the partner is dating someone else. With partner guard They try to prevent adultery. We also monitor that in our society, we do not approve of adultery. In this way, individual preferences turn into a social norm.

But why do we as humans cheat? According to Johan Karremans, Professor of Social Psychology at Radboud University, this is a complex topic. “Personal characteristics, the power of seduction, and the attitude and relationship in which someone finds themselves play a role in this.” By the way, Karremans stresses that cheating does not mean that something is missing in the relationship. “There is also such a thing as”let your guard down“At the time when everything is going well in the relationship and the arms against temptation are relaxed a bit.”

Investigation of fraud and adultery

Social psychologist Tila Pronk, affiliated with Tilburg University, has been researching love and relationships over the past 16 years. Where I also searched the subject of adultery. Agree with Carmen’s words. According to Bronk, it is normal for us to feel attracted to someone other than our partner. “Our body responds to beautiful people, and then reward areas in our brain become active. The brain rewards us for interacting with beautiful people.” According to Bronk, the trick is the degree of impulse control. “People with good impulse control can decide not to do something despite the attraction.” And some seem to be better than others at that. “It turns out to be an innate personality trait.” However, the social psychologist explains that fatigue or alcohol can affect impulse control. “Then impulse control becomes more difficult and the risk of cheating increases.”

proud She cites an interesting study in which she examined many busy men. The researchers knew in advance that the two men were having an affair, and the men did not report it. For the study, participants had to sit in an antechamber, where they were “accidentally” accompanied by a beautiful lady. The waiting room moment turned out to be a part of the study that the participants were unaware of. “We secretly looked at interaction and courtship behavior. It turns out that gentlemen who previously did well on the impulse control components were also less inclined to court.” Participants who scored poorly on impulse control flirted more in the waiting room. Phone numbers have been exchanged.

Perpetrators, victims and sexual hypocrisy

However, we often talk about shyness from cheaters, while people also tend to forgive their partner. What about that? According to Bronk, this is logical and explainable human behavior. “We quickly find something off of us. We tend to attribute the behavior to the person. In this case, the cheater is the villain. But there are more factors that come into play.” Bronk explains that when adultery occurs in our relationship, we pay more attention to those other factors. “Sometimes we change it. Then we ignore the person who chooses to cheat and blame the factors. So with others we basically see the person, with ourselves basically the situation.” According to Bronk, we should be able to tell things apart a little bit. Professor Carmen agrees with Pronk and emphasizes the hypocrisy. “This is a very consistent pattern. It is nice if you have more insight into it and go through a less judgmental life.”

Rose Funk, professor of social psychology and writer, discusses this phenomenon in her column Psychology Journal With the term “sexual hypocrisy”. “Our behavior often looks very different from that of others. Better. Nobler,” she wrote. Funk cited a study in which participants were “perpetrators” and “victims” of adultery. What did you turn? Perpetrators often believed that their adultery was due to circumstances or their partner. In addition, the cheater thought that everything was fine. “These participants had experienced this and therefore were also on the other side, but it seemed to them that this was a completely different situation.”

Monogamy and Other Relationships

Researcher Pronk asserts that a person always has a choice in all situations. According to her, a one-time error is usual, but one should beware of many pitfalls. “If you display behavior that is inconsistent with your standards and values, you will soon justify things to satisfy your vanity and conscience. Then the next step to cheating is taken faster.”

According to her, adultery is eternal. The chance of being caught is only higher these days. “We are being told more information at this time.” And by the way, the dialogue about alternative forms of the relationship is changing, according to her. “We talk more easily, for example, about an open relationship.” Because although monogamy seems to be the norm in our society, according to Bronk, it’s not always realistic. Behavioral biologist Stirk also emphasizes that the social norm does not apply to every individual. “The question is how important you think your partner is and what are you willing to pay for that.” According to Sterck, the way we think about adultery is changing and we are getting wiser these days. “In the ’70s, partner exchange was in the works, and then we looked at things differently. Individuals might disagree on that. One says no sex before marriage, the other has multiple partners. If you have an agreement, it’s possible,” says the behavioral biologist. .

Cheating in men and women

Bronk corroborates the myth that men cheat more often than women. “Men are more likely to choose cheating through sex, and women are more likely to choose emotional cheating.” The latter is also known as petty cheating. So the question is which one is worse? But in theory, neither gender often cheats.” Sterck proves this too. Men are often jealous of sexual cheating. In contrast, women seem to be jealous of emotional cheating.”

By the way, Bronk doesn’t think you should immediately throw in the towel when you’re making a mistake in a relationship. “You have to accept that your relationship will never go back to the way it was. A lie has crept in. It invites an open discussion about it.” How can this happen? What are the chances of this happening again? How do we go forward? They are questions you can ask.” According to a social psychologist, people benefit from the help of a relationship therapist. “People are hesitant about it, but if you’re sick, don’t you go to the doctor? The therapist is the relationship doctor, he can help in the difficult stage. In addition, it can also protect you from relationship trauma in a future relationship.”

Are your sexual fantasies normal? science answers

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We have prepared our judgment for cheaters, but why would a man commit adultery?

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