The widespread use of mobile devices and laptop computers, along with the popularity of social networking for forming new connections, have led to new opportunities for social relationships. Individuals can find high school sweethearts and start up a conversation within minutes, whereas a decade ago such a connection may have required a lengthy search or attendance at a reunion.
Such connections can make faithfulness in marriage a challenge, but there are sites that can make it even easier for those whose hearts may wander. Victoria Milan is the name of a website designed for those seeking an opportunity to have an affair.
The Huffington Post reports on a survey that the site recently conducted to find out how their members viewed affairs and cheating. The site wanted to find out how acceptable cheating is. They asked about emotional affairs versus those that are strictly for sexual gratification. They found out that there were significant gender differences in attitudes about cheating, as well as what can be forgiven.
When it came to sexual affairs, 69 percent of women surveyed said that they were preferable to emotional affairs. Conversely, men thought sexual affairs were worse than emotional straying, at a rate of 72 percent.
The gap widened when it came to discussing the impact of a strictly sexual affair. Among women, 76 percent said they could forgive their partner for involvement in such an affair. Among men, the rate was only 35 percent.
Men found emotional engagement with another partner much less offensive than women surveyed. Eighty percent of men said that they would forgive their partner for engaging in an emotional affair, while only 30 percent of women said the same.
The survey’s findings may be limited by the use of only members of a site designed for aiding users in their quest for an affair, but the results are replicated by other sources. A study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology found that emotional ties formed during an affair were much more troublesome for women when compared to men.
In the study, the researchers examined attitudes and beliefs across 27 interpersonal behaviors. The females rated 10 of the behaviors as higher on the cheating scale than males. There were variations across the general scope of the results between genders.
Broadly speaking, the respondents generally rated sexual behaviors as the most indicative of cheating, followed by erotic behaviors, romantic behaviors and financial support.
The researchers also found that various levels of behaviors within each category were also viewed differently. For example, one respondent may view kissing on the lips as much more offensive than kissing a cheek of another person, while another respondent may see kissing as innocent and have a higher threshold of acceptable affectionate behaviors.
The study found that sexual intercourse was consistently viewed as cheating, and casual contact was generally viewed as not cheating. However, there was a continuum of behaviors with wide variation as to whether respondents believed that the behaviors constituted cheating.
One factor that significantly impacted the responses on the study was the presence of the fear of partner desertion. Those who were most afraid of their partner leaving them were also the most sensitive to behaviors of their partner with other individuals.