Why are So Few Women In the Infidelity Club?

Bill Clinton, David Vitter, Eliot Spitzer, John Ensign and Mark Sanford have all had affairs.

This Politico article examines the question of why so few women politicians have ever been caught for sexual indiscretions. 

One woman politician asked a variant of the question, “When would I have time for that?”  My ex-wife used to accuse me of infidelity all the time and the “when would I have time?” question was not an acceptable defense.  I thought I was appealing to rational reasoning ability – but that did not work.

Of the various reasons for the under-repesentation of women in this group, my favorite is this from the article:  “women are way more clever at covering [affairs] up.”

iggy donnelly


Filed under Elections, Evolution, Life Lessons, Media, Republicans, Woman Power

34 responses to “Why are So Few Women In the Infidelity Club?

  1. The response that might have been more acceptable to my ex-wife was “Even if I had all the time in the world, I would never do that, sweet heart.” Figured that one out a little late, I’m afraid.

    We men are really pretty dumb, if you think about it…

  2. Not dumb, but rational thoughts seem to get interrupted. I think a lot of it has to do with the theory about only so much blood… 😉

  3. This difference between the sexes is such a conundrum. If a woman is assured she is cherished she will forgive most anything else; if a man is sexually satiated he will forgive most anything. Both sexes seem to be at odds in providing what the other needs most.

  4. Being the master of under-statement, fnord, offers,

    “both sexes seem to be at odds in providing what the other needs most.”

    That was my weak imitation of a Monkeyhawk type intro.

    My daughter reads this blog sometimes, and for that reason, I will forego providing what I think is a more comprehensive and yet parsimonous explanation for my ex-wife’s concerns.

  5. David Brooks in today’s NYTimes editorial says that evolutionary psychology has been over-reaching. Much of the discussion in the linked politico article could be classified as evolutionary psychology, viz., men are programmed to spread reproductive efforts as widely as possible, whereas women are programmed to find security enhancing situations/partners to most easily raise offspring.

    Pregnancy is a cost to women, and to men it is not.

    David Brooks’ op/ed:

    • “…men are programmed to spread reproductive efforts as widely as possible…”

      Seems as good an excuse as any!

      There’s the old joke about the hubby who promised to play only 9 holes of golf so he would be home in time for the family ‘do.’ Coming in way later than promised, hubby decided to tell the truth. He explains he is driving home after only 9 holes of golf and there is a little red sports car blocking the road. A gorgeous long-legged, scantily-clad blonde comes running out to the street from a nearby house to ask if he would help her get her stalled sports car out of the street. His good deed leads to her insistence she thank him and they end up in her bed… The wife listens to the entire story (much shortened here), looks him in the eye and says, “You played 18 holes of golf!”

  6. Limbaugh On The Sanford Affair: It’s Obama’s Fault!

    On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh offered his own explanation for the Mark Sanford scandal: That Sanford flew out of the country to have an affair because President Obama drove him over the edge:

    “This is almost like, ‘I don’t give a damn, the country’s going to Hell in a handbasket, I just want out of here,'” said Limbaugh. “He had just tried to fight the stimulus money coming to South Carolina. He didn’t want any part of it. He lost the battle. He said, ‘What the Hell. I mean, I’m — the federal government’s taking over — what the Hell, I want to enjoy life.'”

    “The point is,” he added, “there are a lot of people whose spirit is just — they’re fed up, saying to Hell with it, I don’t even want to fight this anymore, I just want to get away from it.”

    • No one should actually do something like think and remember the lover came into Sanford’s life eight years ago, the Republican spokesman has decreed Obama caused this affair!

      Do you think Rush is trying to stir up more hate than O’Reilly did? Is this a contest between the Coulter, Hannity bunch? How many Roeders are out there listening?

      • kolys

        Do bear in mind that Obama is so insidious that he could conceivably reach back in time a few years and ruin Sanford’s career.

        He also reached back far enough to advise the framers of the Constitution to institute a census so that he could one day use it to set up internment camps, and Michele Bachmann is the only one sufficiently unaffected as to be able to see it.

    • jammer5

      Here’s hoping Rush keeps it up. He’s turning good Republicans into better Democrats.

    • Pedant

      I caught about a half hour of Limbaugh’s radio show today, and imo the Sanford bit wasn’t the most egregious bit.

      Anybody hear his comments when he read aloud the alleged letter of an alleged African-American woman who disparaged President Obama?

      The letter writer accused the president of being nothing more than a Nigerian Edo in naive thrall to European colonialism. When I say “naive,” I mean the letter writer accused Obama of being self-unaware that he’d allowed his attitudes about his African heritage to be subverted by a desire to please his colonial European masters. Basically, the letter writer accused the president of being an Edo who’d turned his back on his own culture, adopting elitist European attitudes instead in an attempt to enslave America, and who is somehow totally unaware of this dynamic.

      It was nothing less than an exercise in hate. The whole letter reading is punctuated by Limbaugh’s editorial comments, which were nothing less than incendiary. And racist to boot.

      Slowly, every day, Limbaugh is feeding Scott Roeders out there. He’s got ’em on a chankonabe-strength diet of innuendo and barely disguised calls for an abrupt end to this presidency, gorging 3 hours each weekday on hate.

      Rush Limbaugh is behaving in an incredibly irresponsible manner. Five months in and he’s already creating a new bottom he can sink to each day.

    • wicked

      He wanted to enjoy life? ha ha ha ha ha Wonder how enjoyable it is now? Caught with his fly open. Sweet.

  7. I think women politicians have a different gene pool entirely. Now this is just my random thoughts here, just country boy thinking.
    Most women politicians are of a different mindset I believe. Maybe the political power and notoriety present other temptations for these powerful women. They seek personal validation in places other than the bedroom.
    All men, and ‘civilian’ women are apples to oranges, maybe.

    Or maybe I don’t have a damned clue….
    fnord? Wicked?….Am I off base?

    • wicked

      Entirely possible, sekan. Not being a politician though, I can’t say for sure. I do know a state rep. Her sister was one of my best friends in the last half of HS. She’s a con. Figures. LOL I’m not surprised she went into politics. She was a doer. Cheerleader (head cheer, her sr. yr, I believe) and football homecoming queen. Strong female.

      Just let me say that for my part, I always knew my kids would tell on me if they knew I was up to something. Fortunately, although opportunities arose, I’ve never been that type. BTW, they told on their dad. Or tried to. We accept only what we want to at certain times.

  8. kolys

    Dana Perino recently suggested that electing more women will reduce the number of sex scandals in American politics.

    I’m not sure I agree. While there are evolutionary arguments in favor of men being more inclined toward ‘sowing their wild oats far and wide’, and being more willing to exert whatever power they have to get such a thing, I think if we had a 50-50 gender balance in Congress, there’d likely be close to a 50-50 balance in extramarital shenanigans as well.

    I’m all for there being more women in elected office, incidentally – I just don’t see it as a solution to this particular issue.

    Lastly, just for grins, a National Enquirer piece alleging that Sarah Palin had an affair:


    • jammer5

      If the National Enquirer says it’s so, it’s gotta be true, right? I mean, isn’t their credibility, like, on the same level as Rush, flatulence in broadcasting, Limbaugh?

  9. That Rush deal on Sanford is just incredible. I wonder if he thinks Republicans are capable of making mistakes?

    Just purchased Dallek’s _An Unifinished Life: John F. Kennedy_ – started it and it looks as though it will be difficult to put down. It is starting with his grandfathers’ lives in 19th century Boston politics. It promises to tell about Kennedy’s strengths and limitations.

    My dad remembers the Kennedy years as the best years of his life. My sister and I were in our early grade school years, both parents were employed in jobs they liked – I think it was a good cycle of life for them. Any way, the point is that Kennedy is/was revered in my family. I’ve heard about the above biography and happened onto it looking for something else.

  10. Bad Biker

    How could anyone forget Helen Chenoweth, Senator from out west somewhere, who DEMANDED that Clinton resign from the presidency because of his infidelity.

    Later it was brought to light that the married Senator was having an affair with a married man.

    Typical GOP hypocrisy.

  11. jammer5

    All males in favor of married women having more affairs, drop their drawers 🙂

  12. tosmarttobegop

    I was watching Opra once day so like the National enquirer it must be true! But the expert said that husbands have affairs for different reasons them wives do. Husbands it nothing but sex and wives its nothing be closeness. BUT a husband having an affair will ruin the marriage and a wife having an affair will save the marriage. The wife gets her closeness and is satisfied the husband gets his sex and wants more.
    To me that is like arguing the difference in why two people commit murder.

    Women are just as subject to having an affair as men are but like was said often are better at hiding it.
    Unless the man is of a suspecting nature, most men do not really question the woman in their life when she said she is going somewhere and what she is doing. The wife tells the husband on a Saturday morning she is going shopping with Judy. She might be going to meet Jim at a no tell motel and he never questions.

    The wife can suddenly change her hair style and start dressing better and the husband does not question it.
    How clueless can a man be? true story: Husband comes home from work everyday and wife is not there.
    He finds her next door at his best friend’s house setting on the patio drinking a beer. Everyday this happens and everyday he goes over and sets with them and talks till he is hungry and wants to go home. He asked his wife if she is ready to leave? She tells him no but he can go, this too happens every night.

    She will finally come home about bedtime for him then fix herself something to eat then go to bed.
    For almost a year this is happening till finally she tells him she wants a divorce and she marries his former best friend! He told me he felt like a total idiot that he never suspected what was going on. He had been just glad that his wife and best friend got along so well!

  13. prairiepond

    I know very few married women who fool around on their hubbies.

    I know LOTS of single women who think nothing of fooling around with married men.

    There is an old, old, old song by Phoebe Snow called “Married Men”.

    “Makes me feel like a girl again, to run with the married men”.

    I generally stay away from married women. Lots of heartbreak there, and it seems like it’s always been MY heart that got broken every time I let my feelings go with an ostensibly straight woman.

    • Morning pond!
      At least you know your enemy!

      • “At least you know your enemy!”

        That’s an urban myth. Women don’t know themselves any better than men do, and all of us (both sexes) are a combination of emotions, needs, thoughts that are ever changing, growing, becoming. Even if you get one issue resolved and know just how to handle that scenario — it won’t come up again and those skills won’t be the ones needed.

      • In my experience the big questions are the easiest, it’s the little details of life, where the real lessons can be learned. Sometimes those lessons are the ones that kick you to the ground!

  14. prairiepond

    Hit send too soon. Sorry.

    I dont know why women who think it’s not a good think to cheat on their hubbies with another man, have NO problem cheating with another woman.

    WTF? Like we dont count as an affair, somehow? Or is it easier to get away with because the hubby wont suspect, or thinks another woman is no competition? Or he’d be turned on by the idea and want to join in?


    You knew I’d say that 🙂

  15. prairiepond

    Heh SEKB.

    I just have to say this, so humor me, ok?

    I have NEVER cheated on a partner, man or woman. If I was in a relationship with someone, I’ve been faithful, no matter how hard it might have been. I have no quarrel with anyone who isnt, but that’s just me. I’m quite proud of that.

    And in a related thought…

    Why is it that when I’m in a relationship, Ms RIGHT always shows up to tempt me? Dammit. I hate that. Then I always wonder what might have been.

    I’m thinking I’m the only constant in that equation, so it must be me?

  16. prairiepond

    I also know a number of men “on the down low”. They dont usually have a paramour, just sex with different guys.

    I dont see the same phenomenon with women. Oh, the married women do cheat with other women, but it almost never is about sex. Usually big emotional drama, lots of talking and tears, and if you are lucky, some wild sex once in a while.

    Hence, my aversion to straight girls and married women. They almost always go back to their men. They almost always cant handle the negatives that go along with being a woman who loves women. So… they return to the easy privilege of heterosexuality.

    I wonder if they ever miss what could have been?

    Probably not. I seem to be the only dyke afflicted with that!

  17. prairiepond

    Fnord, your 8:07 post nailed it. No pun intended 🙂

    One more post on the subject and I’ll let it drop.

    This is all on my mind because of a case of “what might have been”.

    When I first moved back here and was in economic development, there was a woman in a neighboring town who was the E.D. person. I swear on my mother’s grave she is the SMARTEST woman I have ever met. Ever. And I’ve known some brilliant women. But she was genius. And charming, great social skills, etc.

    And did I mention she was beautiful?

    We became friends later, and used to meet up for dinner and hang out some. She and another gal pal came to the farm for fried chicken (lothario that I am, w.e.g.) and we had a great time.

    Then she got married. It wasnt until her wedding that I realized I had broken my own rule about feelings for straight women. I had a pang when she walked down the aisle, and it wasnt me waiting for her.

    She and her hubby moved, and I havent seen her since.

    So.. in a moment of beer induced weakness, I confessed my stupid crush to one of our mutual friends. Double error, foot fault.

    Of COURSE she had to tell the object of my affection. So a few nights ago, she calls me and says “ya know, I told _____ what you said about being secretly in love with her”.


    So she goes on to say (through the filter of Gray Goose) “_____ was stunned.” Ya think? I was good at hiding it.

    Then she goes on to deliver the coup de gras.

    “She said she wished she had known. She could have been happy with you for the rest of her life”.


    So the one time I hid it well, it COULD have worked? I could have been Dustin Hoffman pounding on the church door?

    Damn. Damn, damn, damn, damn…. DAMN!

    Oh well. My policy remains intact. It’s still an emotional train wreck waiting to happen. Even if SHE was the one exception.

    • wicked

      ELAINE!!! ELAINE!!!

      God I love that movie.

      Or maybe Brando shouting STELLA!!! STELLA!!!

      These weak but passionate men. LOLOLOLOL

  18. I’ll bet we can all agree that if a relationship involves sex it has a greater potential for complications!

  19. prairiepond

    True Dat!

  20. wicked

    I started thinking about this women thing yesterday and finally came up with something that made sense to me.

    While I’m sure there are power-hungry women out there who see sex as a conquest over men, my thoughts are that most women in politics have to work very hard to get in a place of power and keep it. We’re still the weaker sex in the eyes of the world, in spite of some damn good women leaders.

    So while a woman is scrambling to get where she’s going and scrambling harder to continue to prove herself, a man has an easier job. People pander to him, and he believes that nothing he does (privately) can harm him. After all, he’s becoming The Man. Maybe he thinks he deserves a little fun on the side after all his hard work. You know the old saying. A man works from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.

    And then there are those horny b@stards who can’t seem to help themselves. Flash a woman in front of them, and they have to sample.

    That’s my take on it, simple as it is.