The Biology of Cheating

Arnold Schwarzenegger in the past spurred a lot of debate in the news, online, and on talk shows in regards to his cheating and fathering a child with another woman. I have been pretty hard on people, men especially, for having affairs. This blog isn’t about condoning or vilifying Arnold’s actions but more about looking at our society at large and discussing the biology of humans.

I believe that our culture, like every other one, is contrived. Many of the “rules” of society originated through religion many years ago and may have had some merit, or not. If you’ve studied culture at all, you know that what is “normal” in one part of the world can be considered barbaric, odd or just plain wrong in another part of the world and therefore culture and our societal norms are completely changeable.

It’s clear to me that “mid-life crisis” is very real and from the statistics I have gathered, it hits about 25% of the population between 39-50 years of age. The psychology community seems to feel it’s based on the realization that the person in crisis is getting older and will eventually die.  If we look deeply into the behavior of societies and less at the morality of specific actions, I wonder if it’s not more of a biological manifestation. It seems to me that many humans seem to be biologically motivated to find another partner or partners. The driving force? I believe it is to spread the seed for men, and to find another mate for procreation for women.

After originally posting this blog, I found a current article that was published in the Scientific Journal about a study of apes who the scientists say have ‘mid-life’ crises.  Check it out:

Why do people cheat? For one, we live in a society where the honest expression of one’s needs and desires are deemed unacceptable. You are viewed as a flawed human being with something inherently wrong with you if you desire more than one sexual partner. There is not much room in our societal norms to address those needs appropriately and transparently. To a large degree, it is best performed in secret, while condemning others who have been caught or staunchly defending the monogamous credo while cheating at the same time. At least it seems that way in the world of politics and religion, a venue of power DOMinated by men…no pun intended. 😉

Should we be able to override our biological urges and desires? I know that many professionals think so. Religion certainly speaks to it. Is that a realistic notion given that the biological drive is a powerful urge which simply overrides logic? I wonder about this because why would people who cheat risk everything that they have worked so hard for? I don’t see the logical sense in that. Could we as a people be set for self-destructive behavior? I don’t think so. Biologically we are driven to procreate to keep our species alive and I believe that leads us to behave outside of the morality of the day. BIO-logic is far stronger than reason logic.

I do fantasize about a more transparent existence but I also think I’m hoping for Utopia and we all know Utopia is a fictitious place.  Hmmm, maybe something to incorporate into my next novel. 😉

What do you all think? Please chime in.

Warm hugs,


One thought on “The Biology of Cheating

  1. There’s nothing wrong with having more than one partner as long as everyone in the relationship knows and agrees. If not, it is cheating. When it comes out, and it almost always eventually does, it is extremely hurtful to the partner not in the know. Before adding a partner to a relationship, either rewrite the rules and get agreement from all parties, or get out of the relationship. Like pulling off a bandaid, ending the relationship prior to engaging in extramarital affairs may be painful, but far less so than the slow, agonizing, hurtful, suspecting then finding out you’re living with a cheater.

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