Are women designed to cheat? This new study thinks so…

And you’ll probably do it on holiday...

‘Sowing wild oats’. ‘Playing the field’. ‘Spreading your seed’. Why is that all these phrases about sleeping around tend to refer to men?

Because it turns out that actually those ingrained social belief might be wrong. According to research from the University of Texas, women are actually evolutionally programmed to cheat.

The logic behind it? Women are designed to have affairs as a way of lining up replacement mates in case their own goes AWOL.

According to Professor David Buss who wrote the paper, ‘over human evolutionary history, bad things could happen to a woman’s existing long-term mate. He could become injured, diseased, killed, or decline in mate value.’

As a result, evolution has taught women to cheat in order to find a back up mate.

‘Affairs serve several key functions,’ argues Prof. Buss. ‘First, they serve as a form of mate insurance, keeping a backup mate in tow should a switch become warranted at some point in the future. Second, they allow opportunities for close-up assessment of an alternative mate, information that would be difficult or impossible to gauge from a distance.’

Qualities assessed, he argues, include compatibility, availability, interest and suitability in terms of long-term goals. Basically, affairs work as a trial run – a way of simulating a long-term relationship but without having to make any commitment.

And if you are going to cheat, it’ll probably be on your summer holidays. According to a study by law firm Slater and Gordon, one in five Brits admit to cheating on their partner while on holiday.

With alcohol and getting into the holiday spirit being cited as two of the main reasons for cheating, it’s unsurprising that 25% of these affairs were on a stag or hen do abroad, and 34% took place when away with friends.

Rather interesting is the fact that 13% admitted to cheating while actually on holiday with their partner.

And while many said it was just a silly mistake, over 20% they would cheat again if their partners remained none the wiser. Brutal.

But hey, if you want to cheat, we’re not judging. In the words of the very wise Nina Simone, ‘you just do what you gotta do’ (#word).

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