The Weekly Hump: Why Some Women Cheat

October 20, 2010

Every hump day we’ll bring you a new fornication fact. This week find out how a woman’s hormones could cause her to cheat.

A 2009 study demonstrates that women who have higher levels of oestradiol, a form of estrogen, are more likely to cheat on their partner. The research was conducted by Kristine Durante, a doctoral candidate in psychology at UT Austin, who looked at the sexual habits and hormone levels of 52 female undergraduate students age 17 to 30. The women where questioned about their sexual history, asked to rate their looks, and had their attractiveness rated by two male and seven female undergraduate UT students. The women also provided samples of saliva, which were tested for oestradiol levels.

According to Durante, “Women with higher oestradiol reported a greater likelihood of flirting, kissing, and having a serious affair with someone other than their primary partner and were marginally more likely to date another man."  She explains further, saying, “If a more attractive man comes along, women with high levels of this hormone are more willing to leave their partner for him. These women aren't having more one-night stands, they're trading up.” Rather they’re looking for a better genetic match and are carefully weighing up their options of stability, through a long-term relationship, versus a quick fling that may result in a stronger genetic match.

The study says that oestradiol is the female form of testosterone and is responsible for fueling “a lust for power with single women” and that those not on the pill are “vulnerable to the vagaries of the sex hormone.”

So as much as women like to say they’re not controlled by their hormones, it just isn’t true.

For more sex facts check out The Weekly Hump archive.

Photo: Philippe Regard/The Image Bank/Getty Images

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