Women Breadwinners Unwittingly Push Their Husbands To Infidelity – Reverse Income Disparity Cause Of Extramarital Affairs?

If a woman is the primary breadwinner in the house, her husband may be strongly inclined to cheat, indicates a new study.

A new study that appears in the June issue of the American Sociological Review, suggests husbands who are 100 percent economically dependent on their spouse are the most susceptible ones to succumb to infidelity in the relationship. The risk was three times for women breadwinners married to completely dependent husbands.

The study indicated that economic dependability isn’t a strong cause when it is the man who is earning. However, when the balance of the income shifts in favor of the wife in the relationship, her husband may have a strong urge to cheat on her. Statistically speaking, when the wife is the primary or sole breadwinner, her husband is three times more at risk to cheat on her. However, when the situation is reversed, as has been the “normal” condition that has been indoctrinated in us for eons, the risk drops substantially, concluded the study.

“On average, women who are completely financially dependent on their husbands face about a 5 [percent] chance that they will stray. There is about a 15 [percent] chance that a man married to a female breadwinner will cheat.”

It is the indoctrination that is the main culprit, shared the study’s author Christin Munsch, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut.

“I think it has to do with our cultural notions of what it means to be a man and what … the social expectations are for masculinity. Being economically dependent on their wives may threaten their manhood and having an affair is a way to re-establish their masculinity, even if it’s all done subconsciously.”

She cited references in literature indicating how men resorted to primal instincts when their ego or masculinity is threatened — in this case, the role of the primary provider of the family.

“There’s plenty of great literature showing how when men in particular undergo gender identity threats, they engage in hypermasculine behaviors. Sex is one of the most sort of gender-typed behaviors. You think of men as … (having) sex on the brain. They can engage in a behavior associated with masculinity.”

Interestingly, having to shoulder the responsibility of earning for the entire family erodes any feelings of promiscuity among women whose husbands were 100 percent dependent on them. On average, they face about a 1.5 percent chance that they will cheat in an average year, revealed the study.

It appears the women who earn more than their husband or earn for the entire family are wrought with guilt, once again due to the indoctrination and do what they can to bolster their husband’s masculinity.

[Image Credit: Getty Images]

Comments