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Cheating wives are closing the infidelity gap between men and women, according to the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey.
The percentage of wives who admit to indiscretions has jumped 40 percent over the last two decades to 14.7 percent. Husbands hold steady at 21 percent.
Bloomberg reported that the gap, according to Auburn University’s director of its Center for Demographic Research, Yanji Djamba, is reflective of two trends: working wives have less to lose financially and social media has made it easier to meet potential partners.
“More women may feel free to cheat because the economic consequences aren’t as dire as they were when more women stayed home, said Pepper Schwartz, a University of Washington sociologist…‘They can afford the potential consequences of an affair, with higher incomes and more job prospects…’” (ibid.).
Increasing numbers of wives now outearn their husbands.
“Among married couples with children, the proportion in which the wife’s income tops her husband’s has increased from about 4 percent in 1960 to 23 percent in 2011,” according to a Pew Research study.
While money gives women the means to cheat, social media gives them the opportunity. Ms. Schwartz pointed to a specific website that provides a matchmaking service for those looking to have an affair. According to a Bloomberg report, the site serves “3.5 million active users speaking nine languages in 26 countries.”
Despite the growing trend among wives, Mr. Djamba told the news outlet, “Men are still more likely to cheat than women. But the gender gap is closing.”