who are you?
men are unfaithful @ twice the rate of women in the USA.
The evolutionary benefit of promiscuity for men is pretty straightforward: The more sexual partners you have, the greater your potential reproductive success. But women’s reproductive capacity is more limited by biology. So what’s in it for women? There may be no clear evolutionary advantage to female infidelity, but sex has never just been about procreation.women get less of a rational basis.
it all harks back to homo erectus -and early sapiens. go here for homo erectus' sexuality (a suggestion is that they sublimated sex through art, but also engaged in hallucinogenic sexual orgies, called "festivals"). "orgy" or "drug" is not a proper term: wear the proper glasses here. this is not our frantic pleasure-seeking postmodern version without a proper theist-animistic components. in our PC ignorance, we keep ignoring these societal drives.
on the other hand, women's promiscuity has increased in western societies (caveat: the poorer you are the less promiscuous you're permitted to be).
here are 13 reasons from psychology today. let's read some of them through our knowledge of
immaturity: that refers to character, not your present person and predetermined by your Np. a pretty vague concept, it means you don't act your age, and who does? :)
insecurity: same as above. "insecurity" cannot be a "willing" thing. nobody wants to be insecure, more so if you are a man. this is an unconscious mechanism. the more insecure you are, the more you're likely to show yourself as secure, which brings forth the stereotype, "men are spartans."
lack of male social support: indeed, your males friends are as detached as you are. men don't know how to give support to each other regarding romantic issues, they are supposed to be kept within masculinity boundaries, i.e., you don't show your friend you're suffering. again: "men are spartans."
child abuse: that's a complex one which can go in any direction. from infidelity to self-mutilation to abuse to murder.
selfishness: at the beginning of the relationship, during mating time, you do want to be with your significant other. it's later, when the sexual urges wane that you get restless. this is not selfishness, this is the EROS mechanism (studies reveal that polygamous men live longer).
anger, revenge: yes, there's always anger. and anger only means repression of a symptom. but we're not that aware of that either. if a man is angry he will deny it (i surmise women can sin of this too).
this paper takes a deeper look at evolutionary biology theories. the finding is that males are more dismissive of romantic relationship (thus more unfaithful and promiscuous) than women in most cultures, except in africa (& the reason is not cultural, it's rather the "stressor" of their particular environments).
now, how do you approach these data as a male?
it's a fact that a man can be unfaithful and still love a woman. my father is a case in point. he loved my mother to her death with devotion and perseverance. being in love is always easy at first. then we fall out of love. we wonder, was it really love? why did we let it go? did we fight enough for it? some say "why fight over the other's freedom to move on?" a fight is worth it if there's hope (more about love later, let's stay on course).
i want to make a comment about male behavior around the "received" social norms of adultery. why does it happen? biology vs. cultural norms! supervening society makes for familial natural selection. in this version of the traditional family, if men aren't faithful at least they keep the contract going for the sake of family and social cohesion.
the man keeps his urges at a minimum, following a prudent check with the proviso that the wife is assured love, financial and familial stability. this "victorian" arrangement worked until modernity. don't think that women are unaware of their husbands' escapades. they are not stupid. the reason 19th literature gave us Balzac, Flaubert, Zola, Tolstoi, Chekhov, etc, was precisely this traditional arrangement. that women learned to live under this traditional norms doesn't mean that there was a "patriarchy" of male conspiracy against women. this is not wearing proper lenses. these men loved their wives and their views loved them back. presentism myopically judges the past. if these masters of literature critiqued their 19th-present it was because they were already moderns!
after modernity everything changes. i, a twenty first-century person, tell my female students to finish college, become independent, and play it equally at home. but remember, as each epoch fixes the past it becomes outdated with its mounting problems. modernity brought its own problems with it, which we're dealing with now (this is a different topic we cannot pursue here).
let's come back to love. even with this tension in our biology, us men can do something about fidelity (this why i said fidelity is commendable -though gabrielle felt it was not the right word).
we men can fight our biology with better ideals of love.
real love is a difficult negotiation between passion and generosity. passion, to work, has to be selfish, otherwise it dies on arrival. generosity checks against our disparate sexual desires. through generosity we learn that this love deserves better. it means bringing forth trust by channeling our drives in the direction of our love. this doesn't mean one would stop incidentally having desires (you know that not all these desires are even "really" ours). only that we'll in a better position to redirect and color our desires with our best ideals. by the way, don't blame yourself if you fail. what's important is to keep trying. hopefully we'll succeed.