The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love, and the Reality of Cheating
The widespread notion that monogamy is the ultimate proof of true love does not square with the reality that cheating is rampant. Yet, whether gay or straight, the vast majority of relationships start with the belief that monogamy is the desired ideal.
In his new book The Monogamy Gap, sociologist Eric Anderson combined 120 interviews with social science and biology experts and came up with a theory about why men cheat despite their best efforts to be faithful.
Monogamy is irrational, Anderson contends. It denies the reality of a lifetime of sexual urges; cheating is the only way to satisfy sexual desire while staying in a loving relationship with a single partner.
Monogamy gap is a term Anderson created to explain why cheating is the rational response to an irrational circumstance.
"If you ask couples what's more important in their lives -- the emotional relationship or the sexual relationship -- they're, of course, more likely to say the emotional relationship," he reports.
Women will keep quiet and put up with a lot for a stable relationship that "normalizes" them in the eyes of the society, but even cheating? If that silence is backed by resentment, it may be better to talk (thewayofattraction.com).
"We put all of our policing efforts into the sexual aspect of it, and that is not what is most important in a relationship."
Anderson explains that the desire to stay faithful to one partner is culturally conditioned, part of it coming with the Industrial Revolution.
open sexual relationship because there's such a stigma," he reports.
- So should we all throw in the towel on monogamy?
- Or is there something about that kind of commitment that we should preserve and honor?
- Is it even possible without encouraging cheating?