DIVORCE

Male Sexuality May Explain Why Men Cheat More Than Women

09/23/2013 06:04 pm ET | Updated Sep 23, 2013
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Do men cheat more than women?

It's possible. And according to a new study out of Texas A&M University, it's males' stronger sexual impulses -- and not their lack of self-control -- that could be to blame.

Researchers conducted two studies, the first of which asked 70 male participants and 149 female participants how they had reacted to real-life sexual temptations in their past.

"When men reflected on their past sexual behavior, they reported experiencing relatively stronger impulses and acting on those impulses more than women did," Natasha Tidwell, one of the study's authors, said in a press release.

When it came to self-control, there was no discernible difference between men and women. Paul Eastwick, the study's co-author, said that cheating most often occurs when men fail to utilize their self-control and give in to their sexual impulses instead.

"Men have plenty of self-control -- just as much as women," Eastwick said. "However, if men fail to use self-control, their sexual impulses can be quite strong. This is often the situation when cheating occurs."

In their second study, the researchers used a rapid-response test on 326 men and 274 women in which participants were shown photos of potential romantic partners and asked whether or not they'd like to enter into a romantic relationship with that person. Participants were shown photos of attractive, or "desirable" people as well as unattractive, or "undesirable" people along with information on whether each person was a good or bad romantic fit.

Interestingly, men were more likely to accept attractive people, regardless of whether the computer deemed them a good or bad match. According to the researchers, this indicates that men have a stronger impulse to become romantically involved with desirable individuals even if the relationship would be bad -- like an affair would be.

This isn't the first time researchers have examined infidelity. A survey from August 2012 found that 66 percent of people think infidelity is most likely to happen at a work-related event. And a study from July 2013 found that some women carry designer purses as a way to keep their partners from cheating.

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