Do lesbians cheat more often than straight women?
A look at cheating among lesbians – both in the media and IRL – and how statistics can only tell us so much.
Like a lot of questions we receive, this is based on a stereotype largely originating from – you guessed it – the media!
Television series and films like “The L-Word” that center on gay female characters are incredibly progressive and extremely beneficial in the fight to normalize lesbianism. But the influence they hold is also incredibly detrimental. Often what they portray becomes the foundation for sweeping assumptions and generalizations made about the lesbian community, many of which are blatantly misleading. Cheating, for instance, is a common theme in these storylines, and this leitmotif leads people to believe that all – or at least most – lesbians are cheaters.
So is it true? Are lesbians statistically more likely to cheat than straight women? The truth is, I don’t know the stats. Studies have been done and polls have been taken, but it’s my personal opinion that not too many people are willing to confess their infidelities for the sake of assembling data. In other words, statistics can only tell us so much when it comes to adultery.
And here’s the thing… it doesn’t really matter! Think about it for a second. If I told you that lesbians are more likely to cheat than straight woman, would you jump to the conclusion that your partner is having an affair? If so, that conjecture is probably rooted in a fear that stretches far beyond the information contained within this blog. In fact, forgive my honesty, but if that’s something you’re worried about, then what you need isn’t the internet – it’s a good old fashioned heart-to-heart with your bae.
Maybe you’re here because you’re just genuinely curious about the rates of lesbian cheating. You have no personal insecurities about your own relationship – you just want to know if what you’ve seen on TV is an accurate reflection of reality. If that’s the case, let me put it to you this way: don’t believe everything you see in the media. Sure, lesbians cheat. But so do straight women. Unfortunately, humans will be humans, and at the end of the day there’s no sure-fire way to know which demographic is more unfaithful.
Emotional infidelity – why it’s a problem
Chatting doesn’t equal cheating… but we all know there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed. Emotional infidelity refers to an affair that isn’t physical. It occurs when someone in a monogamous relationship begins to invest sexual or romantic energy into another person. The jury is out on whether or not this counts as cheating. But labels aside, it’s a common problem that occurs in all types of relationships – gay, straight and otherwise.
All that said, there’s no denying that same-sex and bi-sexual couples are more likely to experience emotional infidelity. Why? Because just like their relationships, their friendships tend to be with members of the same sex. This is a generalization of course, and isn’t always the case. Many lesbians have more male friends than female, and just because a lesbian has a large group of female friends doesn’t mean she’s going to develop romantic feelings for any of them. But it does happen, and when it does, it can be more detrimental to a relationship than physical cheating.
Learning to trust
The lesson in all of this is twofold. Firstly, everyone is capable of cheating. At the end of the day, whether or not someone cheats depends a lot more on their personal ethics than it does on their sexual identity.
Secondly and much more importantly, trust is the foundation of every solid relationship. If you’re a lesbian worried that your partner might cheat on you because that’s what the media has led you to believe – stop stressing. Put your trust in her faithfulness to you, and focus on strengthening your relationship rather than concentrating on all the reasons it might break.