She Pays, He Strays

I found this article from the Toronto Star while I was surfing the net today. The article states that men who are in a relationship are more likely to cheat on their partners if their partners make more money than they do. Actually, it states that not only are men more likely to cheat if their partners make more bank than they do but they are five times more likely to cheat. Five times! That’s a huge difference, but here’s where it really gets good – men who make a lot more than their partners are, you guessed it, also more likely to cheat. So take note ladies, if you make too much money your man will cheat on you, but if you can’t pull your own weight financially he will also stray. As if this economic downturn wasn’t stressful enough.

The article blames both phenomena on the ever so fragile male ego; basically saying that if he makes less money than you he is so damaged that he has to go out sleep with as many women as he can to prove his virility, and if he makes way more than you he just feels entitled to do so.

Hey, Male Ego, if you have enough time to cheat on your woman maybe you can find the time to get a better paying job?

What I found so interesting about this article is not the relationship between income and fidelity because I have seen men (and women) in every tax bracket wander. What I took away from this is just how it flies in the face of evolutionary psychology. We know that women are more attracted to men that they perceive to have high incomes. Evolutionary psychologist attribute this to women being programmed to look for a man who can support them and any potential offspring. Thousands of years ago we may have looked for the man with the most sabre tooth tiger pelts in his cave, now we look for BMW’s and stock options. We also know that cheating, from an evolutionary stand point is a mans way of spreading his seed more efficiently. The more women he sleeps with, the more likely he is to get one of them pregnant, the more of his genes get passed on to the next generation. We know that men typically “provide” for their children by seeking women who are healthy looking (re: attractive) to know that they will bear healthy children.

This all worked when we were a bunch of hunter/gatherers. But we aren’t anymore. As women we have changed to become ones that can go out and find our own sabre tooth tigers, or at the very least hire someone to hunt sabre tooth tigers for us, but our gene’s and our evolutionary drive hasn’t yet caught up with us. While intellectually men and women know that both sexes can be excellent financial providers, our sex drives remind us of a time where this wasnt true.

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