Why Are We Still Shocked About Infidelity? Most folks cheat

In the past few weeks, the internet has exploded with two “infidelity scandals.” Adam Levine, an American singer, has admitted to cheating on his wife, Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo, with at least one Instagram influencer (and possibly multiple Instagram influencers). Ned Fulmer, one of the YouTube comedy foursome The Try Guys, was fired from the group for having an extramarital relationship with a co-worker.

Adam Levine’s private messages with women on Instagram were released just days after his wife Behati Prinsloo announced she was pregnant with their third child.Recognition:AP

The columns and memes and Instagram posts are hundreds of thousands of words. I for one am amazed at the coverage.

Why is infidelity reported so frequently? More specifically, why is it considered so “scandalous”? Infidelity has been around as long as marriage. Every week – hell, pretty much every day – there’s a new scam revelation. There’s always some athlete or politician or actor or musician or pastor who gets caught with someone who isn’t their spouse. Google “celebrity cheating” and you will find millions of articles about the “biggest celebrity cheating scandals” or “18 celebrities who cheated on their partners” or “11 times celebs have been caught cheating”.

Australia is as rich in extramarital affairs stories as any other country. Athletes like Darius Boyd, Tim Paine and the late, great Shane Warne have all been unfaithful. Our former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce cheated on his wife and then married his mistress. Our own new king has cheated on the Princess of Wales, and the woman he cheated with is now our Queen!

Just this week, two married chaplains working at a Sydney school were forced to quit after their relationship became public. Next week there is another cheating admission. When will the public stop being so shocked?

The royal family wasn't immune to infidelity.

The royal family wasn’t immune to infidelity. Recognition:Fairfax

It’s difficult to get accurate statistics on infidelity for obvious reasons, but we know it’s very common. Most estimates suggest that around 60 percent of men and 45 percent of women have cheated in some form during their marriage, and that 70 percent of all marriages will experience a physical or emotional affair at some point. According to Ashley Madison, a married dating website (“Life is Short, Have an Affair”), Australia is the sixth most unfaithful country in the world, behind the US, Brazil, Canada, the UK and Mexico.

You may think infidelity is immoral and appalling, but that doesn’t change the stats. Infidelity is so common that it goes completely unnoticed. Is owning a home shocking? About as many people experience infidelity as homeowners in this country (67 percent). Is a college degree shocking? More people cheat than have a college degree (50.2 percent). Are meat pies shocking? As many Australians cheat as they eat a meat pie each month (70 percent).

Normal people cheat for all sorts of reasons, including boredom, validation, or because they want more intimacy and sex. Celebrities cheat for the same reasons, with the added incentive of having a lot more options. Being rich and famous and attractive opens a lot of (bedroom) doors, so why are we surprised when the celebrities walk through them and keep getting undressed?

Comments are closed.