Prior to the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s, many U.S. women fulfilled the roles of homemakers and stay-at-home moms. Today, the U.S. Department of Labor reports that more than 57 percent of women age 16 and older work outside the home and a record number report earning more than a spouse or being the sole breadwinners in their households.
While U.S. women spent decades relying on men for their financial needs and security, a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut finds that today, regardless of sex, individuals who are financially dependent on a spouse are more likely to be unfaithful. In fact researchers found that women who are solely dependent on a spouse’s income are five percent more likely to cheat. For men who depend on a spouse’s income, rates of infidelity jump to 15 percent.
For the 12-month study, all 2,750 participants were between the ages 18 to 32. The study’s findings are further proof of the shifting societal and gender roles fulfilled by men and women and how some men appear to have difficulty adjusting to these changes.
For the age demographic studied, the idea of women going to college and working outside the home is likely viewed as being the norm. However, despite this fact, we all have ingrained stereotypes about the roles that women and men are supposed to fulfill. For a man who make less than or is financially dependent upon a spouse, feelings of insecurity often stem from a belief that he is not fulfilling a traditionally masculine role.
Prior to getting married, individuals would be wise to discuss their educational and career aspirations with a fiancé In cases where spouses encounter difficulties due to income disparities, it’s important to be able to openly and honestly express one’s concerns and frustrations.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Financial Dependence Makes Men (And Women) More Likely To Cheat,” Carolyn Gregoire, June, 2, 2015