Men More Likely to Cheat on Female Breadwinners

Least likely to stray on women who earn 75% what they do

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 17, 2010 5:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – Ladies, if you want your man to stay faithful, you'd better be earning about three-quarters as much as he does. So claims a new study, which found that while being economically dependent on your partner makes women less likely to cheat, it makes men more likely to stray: Men who are financially supported by their female partners are five times more likely to cheat than men in relationships with women who earn similar amounts, CNN reports.

Call it the Jesse James effect: Being with a successful female breadwinner is a threat to the male ego, the researchers say. But turning the tables the other way doesn't help, either. Men who earn way more than their female partners are also more inclined to cheat, perhaps because they tend to work long hours and travel a lot. The best combination for male fidelity? Similar incomes, ideally with the woman's income about 75% of the man's—conveniently enough, also the ratio of women's to men's average wages in the US.

Actress Sandra Bullock and husband Jesse James at the 41st NAACP Image Awards on Friday, Feb. 26, 2010, in Los Angeles.
Actress Sandra Bullock and husband Jesse James at the 41st NAACP Image Awards on Friday, Feb. 26, 2010, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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I don’t want to get into a blame-the-victim mentality. Just because a woman makes more money than a man is not a signal that the relationship is in trouble.
- Stdy author Christin Munsch

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