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Stronger sexual impulses may explain why men cheat more than women, study reveals
Date:9/20/2013

articipants were first asked to recall and describe an attraction to an unavailable or incompatible member of the opposite sex. They then answered survey questions designed to measure strength of sexual impulse, attempts to intentionally control the sexual impulse, and resultant behaviors.

"When men reflected on their past sexual behavior, they reported experiencing relatively stronger impulses and acting on those impulses more than women did," says Tidwell.

However, men and women did not differ in the extent to which they exerted self-control.

"When men and women said they actually did exert self-control in sexual situations, impulse strength didn't predict how much either sex would actually engage in 'off-limits' sex," added Tidwell.

"Men have plenty of self-control just as much as women," says Eastwick. "However, if men fail to use self-control, their sexual impulses can be quite strong. This is often the situation when cheating occurs."

In order to measure the strength of sexual impulse relative to the strength of impulse control, the researchers recruited 600 undergraduate students (326 men, 274 women) to participate in a "Partner Selection Game."

Participants were very briefly shown images of opposite-sex individuals; the images were tagged either "good for you" or "bad for you." Participants were asked to accept or reject potential partners based on the computer-generated "good for you" or "bad for you" prompt. While they were shown photographs of both desirable and undesirable individuals, participants were instructed to make acceptance and rejection choices based on the computer-generated tags. In some trials, participants were asked to accept desirable and reject undesirable individuals; in other trials, participants were asked to go against their inclinations by rejecting desirable individuals and accepting undesirable individuals.

Men experienced a much stronger impulse to "accept" th
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Contact: Meghan Mullaney
Meghan@austin.utexas.edu
512-471-3375
University of Texas at Austin
Source:Eurekalert

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