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In a recent issue of Newsweek magazine [7/12/04], the cover reads: “The New Infidelity—From Office Affairs to Internet Hookups, More Wives Are Cheating Too.” The article goes on to ask, “Just how many married women have had sex with people who are not their husbands? … Couples therapists estimate that among their clientele, the number is close to 30 to 40 percent, compared with 50 percent of men, and the gap is almost certainly closing. In 1991, the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago asked married women if they’d ever had sex outside their marriage, and 10 percent said yes. When the same pollsters asked the same question in 2002, the “yes” responses rose to 15 percent, while the number of men stayed flat at about 22 percent. The best interpretation of the data: the cheating rate for women is approaching that of men, says Tom Smith, author of the NORC’s reports on sexual behavior. When Michele Weiner-Davis, a marriage counselor … in Woodstock, Ill., started practicing 20 years ago, just 10 percent of the infidelity she knew of was committed by women. Now, she believes, it’s closer to 50 percent. ‘Women have suddenly begun to give themselves the same permission to step over the boundary the way that men have.’”

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