Men are more likely to cheat if they are economically completely dependent on their wives, compared to those who aren’t, study says.
The study analyzed data from 2,757 people between the ages of 18 to 32 from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. The chosen individuals have been in a heterosexual relationship for more than a year.
Results showed that a man who was 100% dependent on a breadwinner woman was 15% more likely of cheating on his partner than those who weren’t as dependent, while a woman was only 5% more likely to cheat when placed in the same financial position.
From the University of Connecticut, professor and author of the study Christine Munsch said, “You would think that people would not want to ‘bite the hand that feeds them’ so to speak, but that is not what my research shows.”
Munsch added that it may be that men who were completely dependent on their partners felt emasculated and that by engaging in infidelity they were attempting to re-establish their masculinity.
On the other hand, the study also found that when a man vastly out-earns his wife, his chances of having an affair also rose. “These men are aware that their wives are truly dependent and may think that, as a result, their wives will not leave them even if they cheat,” said Munsch.
Men were least likely to cheat when their income was almost equal to that of what his wife makes and up until he brings home 70% of their combined income. Any more than that and the chances of an affair would rise.
Women, on the other hand, were least likely to cheat when they brought home 100% of a couple’s total income.
Sources: June 1, 2015. "Extramarital affairs more common in dependent spouses, study finds". theguardian.com June 1, 2015. "Husbands of female breadwinners most at risk for cheating, says study". cnn.com June 1, 2015. "Househusbands who are financially dependent on their wives are 'more likely to have an affair'". dailymail.co.uk