Cheating is at its most fashionable. Its become a societal norm, the accepted disability of our communities if you will. But why do people cheat? The answer to that may point to historical and societal factors that are not often spoken about or acknowledged in the public sphere.

Free Love

In the mid 1960’s a sexual revolution exploded that challenged the status quo in terms of how individuals viewed and behaved in relationships. Sexual indiscretion was at its height or more in the light than ever before. By the 1970’s the first cases of HIV/AIDS were brought to the fore but they did little to curb the sexual  revolution. Not only was promiscuity deemed to be cool but using condoms was also frowned upon (bear in mind that condoms have been around for over 400 years). A notable characteristic of this time and movement was the use of drugs to experience an alter spirituality which gives some credibility to the argument that the sexual revolution may have been that generation’s way of  liberating themselves and arguably brought issues such as pornography, masturbation and abortion into the spotlight for the first time. Before this era, all of this had been going on in the shadows and not spoken about publicly.

A generation of bastards

It goes without saying that the free love movement or sexual revolution resulted in a generation of “bastards”, illegitimate children whose fathers enjoyed the beautiful flowers but could not be bothered to take care of the seeds. Illegitimate children were not a new thing and therefore not unique to this time however the way they were treated was. The disdain that was shown to illegitimate children in this time was severe and their bitter reaction was carelessness.

Men are dogs

Eligimate children or not, the men who were born from the free love movement seemingly had no respect for women. Words like bitch and whore (later trick and hoe) became the preferred antonym for woman. And the promiscuity continued.  The phrase “men are dogs” probably came from this era (just a wild guess). Whatever the case, the phrase only served to indirectly constitutionalise the idea that men can cheat all they want and its alright because after all, they are dogs. It didn’t help the women’s cause at all.

Lets go 50/50

Fast forward a couple of decades and you almost have the free love movement all over again. But this time everything that a man can do, a woman can do with just that little more panache. Its like women are getting their revenge for all the years of being undermined. Women are dating married men, married men are sleeping with kids as young as their daughters. Its a scary situation. Go to a party, any party and the odds of scoring are high (perhaps someone should tell Chelsea’s Torres that).  Anyway, it makes one wonder why there is rape and prostitution when getting laid is so easy.

Dispelling the myths

Most people think the main reasons people, especially men cheating are the following:

  • There are more men than women in the world –  Actually, the numbers throughout the world are quite similar in terms of the number of men and women that share air in this world even when you take into consideration all the men that are homosexual and those that are in jail.
  • Men are more promiscuous than women – The previous point indicates that there are slightly more men than women in the world.  Who are these men cheating with?
  • Only men that have a low esteem cheat – Again, this is surely misplaced, its the arrogant bastards who can sleep with a woman, then immediately forget about her.
  • Black men cheat most – I’m going to go out on a limb and say that white men hide it better and probably because they have the resources to and have a greater need to preserve their marriages

Getting to the em… bottom of it

In the end it boils down to what history and society has prescribed for us. Its okay for men to lust after women but women should keep their perverted thoughts to themselves. But the worst of it is how we’ve managed to keep the sexual immorality behind the scenes for centuries and now it is finally eating us alive. This article really touches on the surface of the deep-rooted problem, there are so many other aspects that space permitting should be shared and discussed.

Writer: Katlego Modipane