According to a new study, men who earn significantly less than their female partners (or who earn nothing) are far more likely to cheat than those in relationships where incomes are more or less equal.
The research, presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, found men who were completely dependent on their partner's income were FIVE times more likely to cheat than men who contributed an equal amount of money to the relationship.
ʺWe finally have scientific support to the enduring cliché about why any man would drive a Hummer, he’s overcompensating,ʺ said Cornell University sociology graduate student Christin Munsch, who conducted the study.
Munsch's work focused on 18- to 28-year-olds who were married or living together and who had been in the same relationship for at least a year.
Having multiple sexual partners may be an attempt to restore gender identity in response to these threats. In other words, for men, sex outside their relationship may be an attempt to compensate for feelings of inadequacy with respect to gender identity.
ʺAt the other end of the spectrum, those making a lot more are also more likely to cheat,ʺ said Munsch.
However, men can cheat whether they are broke or filthy rich.
It may not be the money, suggested Christine Whelan, a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh and author of ʺWhy Smart Men Marry Smart Women.ʺ
ʺMoney might be a proxy for time away from the spouse,ʺ Whelan said, citing the 2006 Kate Winslet movie ʺLittle Children,ʺ in which a house-husband whose wife is off making documentaries finds companionship at a neighborhood swimming pool with a local stay-at-home mom. On the flip side, when the man is making loads of cash, ʺyou might have a guy working 24/7 cheating on his wife with a secretary or co-worker.ʺ
ʺThose couples making about the same or when the men are making a little bit more than the women, appear safest,ʺ Munsch said. According to Munsch, men tend to wander least when their female partner makes 25 percent less than they do.