In North America, we place a great amount of importance on fidelity,
which can be defined by Webster's Dictionary as "adherence
to the contract of marriage". When we are discussing our spouse's
faithfulness, we often improperly use the term monogamy, which actually
means having only one husband or wife at a time. Law in North America
prohibits being married to more than one person, so therefore for
purposes of this article, we will use the term fidelity.
Why on earth are the majority of married couples unfaithful? The
answer to that question is complex and multi-faceted. Certainly
the widespread use of birth control is part of the answer, as pregnancy
is not necessarily a consequence of extra-marital sex. Part of the
reason may lie in liberal modern attitudes about sex. After the
sexual revolution of the sixties, sex has been seen in a different
light - with more of a focus on gratification. Some research also
indicates that multi-media is partially to blame, results show that
men repeatedly shown nude pictures of pinup models in magazines
later describe diminished feelings of love towards their wives.
Men and women tend to have different reasons for committing infidelity.
For men, it tends to be a merely a question of simple physical gratification,
whereas for women it is often because of emotional dissatisfaction
with their husbands. Other reasons include: a feeling of sexual
liberation with a sex partner that you don't have to see again (the
one-night stand), the lust for the acquisition of the forbidden
fruit, the thrill of variety, the ego boost that proves to yourself
that you "still have it", and lastly, the confirmation
of lasting youth.