Benjamin Franklin once mused that there are three things men are most likely to be cheated in: "A horse, a wig, and a wife." While I'm quite certain Franklin was right on the money about the horse and the wig (although these days it's more likely to be hair plugs or Rograine spray), when it comes to a wife, there is current speculation over who is really at fault.
For centuries, men have been labelled as the home-wreckers, philanderers and the shagging swindlers. After it, it's their biological urge to spread their seed as far and widely as possible, right blokes?
Recent tales like that of Christie Brinkley's sex-addict ex-husband (who screwed his 18-year-old secretary and subscribed to the world's largest Swinger's website despite being married to one of the world's most beautiful women), or Bill Clinton's deluge of ever-growing female mistresses that continue to come out of the woodwork as you read this, doesn't quite help the male reputation either. But nowadays it seems that the philandering tables could be turning, with more women than ever before getting caught doing the dirty behind their man's back ...
If the statistics are anything to go by, 40 per cent of married women cheat which, according to an article published in Newsweek magazine titled "Marriage: The New Infidelity" accounts for a 50 per cent increase in female infidelity. Yet despite more women than ever before thinking it's okay to stray, the story still manages to blame the men, the internet, the workplace and anything but the women themselves for the increase in their philandering ways.
"Overscheduled lives and inattentive husbands," is what the Newsweek article puts down to the growing female cheating trend, with its conclusion being that it's "no wonder more American women are looking for comfort in the arms of another man."
"No wonder"? Is it really "inattentiveness" which drives women into the arms of another man? And since it's the bloke's fault after all, does this mean that it's actually okay for women to stray?
One of the world's best known agony aunts Deidre, who writes for the UK Sun, says she's done extensive research into exactly why women cheat. And after surveying a record 10,000 respondents on their reasons for cheating, her findings aren't too surprising either.
"Some 64 per cent of men said it was because they had the opportunity while 60 per cent of women said it was more exciting and because they wanted someone to talk to," she writes.
Mira Kirshenbaum, author of When Good People Have Affairs (St. Martin's Press), concurs. She also adds that it's a combination of boredom, dull sex and no conversation that pushes women to do it. (Which, once again, seems to be blaming the men, but more on that later.)
Of course what constitutes infidelity is a whole different discussion altogether. Is it lunch with someone from the opposite sex? A clandestine pash at a seedy bar? Or the full nine yards at a cheap motel room during the office lunch break?
If the media is anything to go by, then it doesn't really matter how an affair is defined because modern folks don't believe in monogamy anyway. As Frank Pittman, author of Private Lies: Infidelity and Betrayal of Intimacy (W. W. Norton & Company) told USA Today; "I run across people who think everybody is messing around and something is wrong if they're not doing it, too ... People get the idea from the media that it's a normal thing and anyone not doing it is missing out on life's goodies."
Pop singer Madonna certainly doesn't seem to be missing out on life's goodies since she's reportedly ensconced in a steamy affair with 32-year-old Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez (better known as A-Rod).
And while the affair may be put down to needing to scratch the seven-year-itch that could inevitably be the cause of a marriage breakdown, I'm sure the media will find some way to blame Guy's inattentiveness to the pop starlet for it all ...