A new book written by Belgian psychotherapist Esther Perel, called State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity claims that the number of women who report having affairs has increased by 40 per cent. The number of men cheating on their wives is the same. According to experts, the number of women who are being unfaithful is rising more than ever.

Sociologist Alice Walkers also talks about how women are increasingly cheating in her book The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife: Power, Pragmatism, and Pleasure in Women’s Infidelity. 

After interviewing dozens of women, Walkers found that women grow resentful of their partners over time as they are asked to do more invisible labour that goes into maintaining the couple’s life

Other reasons include the fact that women may want more sex. According to a survey done by Cosmopolitan, half of married twenty-somethings say they want more sex.

Also, there is the question of monogamy. Are we really expected to be monogamous? David Buss, a professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of Texas, and Cari Goetz of California State University argue that humans — and women in particular — have evolved to keep looking for new partners. Buss says that because early humans had shorter lifespans, the death of a woman’s partner was always around the corner.

“Ancestral women lacking a back-up mate would have suffered a lapse in protection, and resources. Affairs serve as a form of mate insurance, keeping a backup mate should a switch become warranted in the future. A regular mate may cheat, defect, die, or decline in mate value,” he says.

Studies also show that women may be more prone to having affairs. There is a link between vasopressin and oxytocin receptor genes and promiscuity in women. These genes have no effect in men’s sexual behaviour

So are we ready to break out of monogamy? Poorvi Gupta doesn’t think so. “I don’t think south Asian countries are so liberal in a modern sort of a way to go for polygamy,” she says.

What do you think? Is monogamy overrated? Write in with your comments.

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