Commentary – Adultery Is Killing the American Family

By Nathan Tabor (09/22/05)

We hear a lot of talk these days about the need to protect and strengthen
the traditional American family. Certainly, it is true that the institution
of marriage is under attack from every side. But the real threat comes from
the multitudes of couples that fail to honor their marriage vows.

Adultery is one of the most terrible “facts of life” in contemporary
America. If you watch the daily soap operas on TV ­ many of which are just
soft-core pornography ­ you might get the impression that there are more
people cheating on their spouses than remaining faithful. And you might be

How many people have affairs? That¹s hard to say because not everybody will
answer honestly. But sex therapist Peggy Vaughan, author of “The Monogamy
Myth,” conservatively estimates that about 60 percent of married men and 40
percent of married women will have an affair at some time during their
marriage. Maggie Scarf, author of ³Intimate Partners,² basically agrees.

Since these books were written more than a decade ago, and since more women
are leaving the home and entering the workforce, the number of wives having
affairs may also have reached the 60 percent range.

Americans have a schizophrenic attitude toward adultery. While 90 percent
admit that adultery is morally wrong, according to a Time-CNN poll, 50
percent say that President Bill Clinton¹s morals are “about the same as the
average married man.” While 35 percent think that adultery should be a
crime, 61 percent think it shouldn¹t.

Having an affair simply doesn¹t carry the social stigma that it once did.
According to “Playboy” magazine, 2 out of 3 women and 3 out of 4 men have
sexual thoughts about their coworkers, and about the same number follow
through on those libidinous impulses.

Why do husbands and wives cheat on their spouses? Psychologists cite
subjective issues like loss of love and feelings of alienation. Certainly
the media pressure of our sex-saturated society is a significant influence.
But a major factor is the easy availability of cheap and plentiful Internet

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