July 08, 2013

Sex Education for Adults: Cheating

Sex Education for Adults: Cheating

Most of us think that sex education is for teens and that it mostly involves lessons in anatomy and human reproduction. Given the huge level of misunderstanding about the subject as well as the high level of embarrassment, discomfort and aversion to rationally talking about the issue, it's obvious that adults need sex education, too.

For adults, however, sexual literacy is not so much about physiology as it is about the problems people have with sex and the problems that sex can cause for relationships. Cheating is a highly emotional problem that is surrounded with pain. It is a topic that is cluttered with myths and simplistic understandings. Today we want to bring some reason and science to the discussion with some common, frequently asked questions:

Why do people cheat on their partners?   

People are unfaithful for different reasons: But surprisingly they most often not about sex.

  1. Boredom
  2. Anger, Resentment and Revenge
  3. Loneliness
  4. To allay anxiety
  5. Thrill seeking (compulsive/sex addiction)

Do men cheat more than women ? Truebut not by much and women tend to fall in love, 

Do men stray for different reasons than womenTrue

Men – boredom, need for novelty and fear of aging and death.

Women – loneliness, not being paid attention to or talked to.

Are couples who’ve been in a relationship a long time more likely to cheat than couples who’ve been in one a shorter time? False

It really depends on the individuals and the quality of the relationship. One might think that the odds of cheating would increase the longer a couple has been together, i.e. as they become bored with one another or resentments build but in fact research does not bear this myth out. Infidelity can happen at any time in a marriage young or old.     

**Here is something else that may not be obvious. Long time married couples have the best sex.  Although affairs are seen as exciting, research reveals that loving couples report having the most satisfying sex.  That is because although risk and danger may be exciting to some, safety and trust are the key factors in experiencing the most intense sexual experience.  

Is there a genetic test which predicts marital infidelityTrue

Well, kinda. Actually there are two areas of study that reveal a genetic predisposition for infidelity. A new study reveals that a cluster of genes, in which the individuals had dissimilar versions of so-called major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes had the greatest sexual compatibility and thus a lower risk of cheating. Literally, when it comes to our genetic imprinting, opposites attract.

Another study focused on the DRD4 gene, which is associated with reward and feeling good (thrill seeking). People with a variation of that gene were more likely to commit infidelity or be promiscuous; 50% of people with the variation reported being unfaithful, compared with 22% of people who didn’t have the variation.

The Rev. Michael Heath prepared these remarks for Bridge Street  7 8 2013. www.revmichaelheath.com/

 

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