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The Reason Chicks Cheat

We tend to think only dudes are prone to stray--but that's not the case. Find out why you may be tempted, and how to curb it.

In surveys these days, more and more women have confessed to cheating. And, that's just the tip of the infidelity iceberg. "Women underreport affairs in face-to-face studies, so real numbers are likely higher," says David C. Atkins, PhD, a University of Washington research associate professor.

It Boils Down To Sex

Something is clearly spurring this desire, and many experts chalk it up to a seismic shift in our view of sex. "Women feel entitled to pleasure, so going outside the relationship is no longer taboo if it satisfies needs a partner isn't meeting," says M. Gary Neuman, author of  The Truth About Cheating. Factor in the ubiquity of "starter marriages" and before long, the idea of lifelong monogamy seems quaint at best. Even Cosmo Tell-All provides evidence of the proliferation of extramarital affairs--with women sometimes guiltlessly divulging juicy details and all.

Absence Makes The Heart Wander...

Compounding that license to cheat is a whole new world of enticement. Today, women kick more ass than ever at work. But, that demands time at the office and on the road, rife with temptations like a work "spouse" or cute barista at a nearby coffee joint. "Business trips and spending less time with a partner are related to the higher likelihood of an affair," says Atkins.

Techie Temptations

Even at home, you have access to anybody and everybody online. That guy who got away? He's at your fingertips on Facebook. And, technology makes it easier than ever to cover up one-night-stands—simply text "Stuck at work, miss u!" and you're in the clear.

Getting An Upgrade

It isn't just opportunity that lures women to wander. Current culture also fuels the cheating mindset. Just as we lust after the latest, greatest "It" handbag, women want to upgrade their relationships. More women are leading the rat race, so suddenly we're settling for men who are less accomplished at work. "And studies show that if you feel you can do better, you feel more entitled to stray," says Gary Lewandowski, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Monmouth University.

Singles' Mindset

Coming of age in the hook-up culture only adds to that craving for newness. "You may have a wild single life and think finding The One will make you not want to fool around," says Atkins. "But, even a great guy is a lot harder to stay loyal to when you're so used to variety and freedom."

How To Avoid Cheating

But, there is hope for long-term love. Research shows that if you make an effort to actively build your bond by doing new things with your guy, you'll ignore temptation. "Anything that promotes time and learning together, like taking a cooking class, puts you on solid ground," says Lewandowski. And make sure you and your man keep logging plenty of hours in bed, too. The more sex you have, the more you'll actually crave it—from him and only him.

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