Cheating: Is it Just Another Cheap Thrill?

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Therese Quiao>Senior>Public Communication>American University

"It only takes one drink to for your boyfriend to cheat on you," said a nurse at the West Virginia University student health center. As funny as that sounds, infidelity is the age-old plague that kills most relationships and marriages. According to an iVillage survey, approximately 1 in 5 adults have cheated on their partner. There has always been a stigma towards cheating, but why does it happen? Is cheating a part of biological instinct? Or is it just an impetuous cheap thrill that happens in the moment? Are some people genetically predisposed to cheat?



In his human sexual behavior class, Professor McCarthy teaches his students that men associate sex with competency and masculinity, while women coincide intimacy with an emotional bond. The drive to fulfill this sexual need can influence infidelity. 
A freshman at American University was kind enough to share her story. When Alexis James* met Nick Raymond*, she was quickly swept away by his charm and good looks. He was older, and well-traveled. Rather than meeting him at a sloppy fraternity party, Nick met Alexis while waiting on a line at Starbucks. He was so smooth that he offered to pay for her latte. Alexis was blindsided and was absolutely thrilled when he asked for her number. After a few dates, Alexis and Nick were "officially" together. They were so happy, and he had even taken her to see the Washington Ballet. She thought that Nick was different from the other boys she’s met so far who only wanted to hook-up. Out of nowhere, Nick suddenly changed. He began ignoring Alexis’ phone calls and text messages. What was wrong with him? He even blocked her on Facebook, which proved to be a passive aggressive, and hurtful action. The next morning, Alexis discovered from a friend that Nick was actually in a long-term relationship with another girl who went to a neighboring college. Alexis was completely unaware that she was the other woman. She trusted Nick, and he had taken advantage of her. 
Currently, there are many psychological studies detailing why men (like Nick) have flings. “Men are more likely to look for sexual novelty. They might be looking for a sexual outlet without the expectation of continuity,” says Sandra Leiblum, director of the Center for Sexual and Relational Health at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J.
However, girls are just as likely to cheat. The problem with infidelity is that each situation is different, and there is no single archetype for a "cheater." Some cheat for a thrill, while some cheat because they are lonely. Either way, hearts are breaking everyday. 


College Magazine Staff

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