SENATOR Susan Collins, ranking member on the United States Homeland Security Committee, and Representative Carolyn Maloney of the House Oversight Committee last week suggested that having more female agents in the United States Secret Service could have prevented the disgrace involving 12 secret service agents who were recently implicated in a prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia.
"I can't help but wonder if there'd been more women as part of that detail if this ever would have happened," Collins told ABC's This Week, following the scandal, which occurred just before President Obama's trip to that country.
Maloney agreed, and added that she was told 11 per cent of agents in the Secret Service were women.
"We probably need to diversify the Secret Service and have more minorities and more women," she said.
Twenty women believed to be prostitutes were discovered with American agents or troops at the beachfront Hotel Caribe after one of the men allegedly refused to pay a previously agreed price for sex, sparking a row.
This action has left the internet abuzz with chatter, and with the discussions, a consensus that the scandal wouldn't have happened had it been women who decided to engage in on-the-side fun.
In essence: women are better cheaters.
Psychotherapist at the Women's Resource and Outreach Centre, Tamaya Wilson, said some studies show that women cheat almost as much as men do, even while many persons believe that men are more prone to cheating.
"Other studies show that they cheat at about the same rate, in fact," Wilson said. "Studies as far back as the 1920s show that men are more willing than women to admit to cheating and more recent studies show that men are twice as likely to get caught."
She said in our society, men are expected to cheat while it is believed that women have immense self-control.
Despite the sexual revolution of the 1960s, women are still expected to be the faithful partner and unlike men get no kudos for their sexual exploits, she added.
And therefore, these exploits, when they do happen, are kept under wraps by the woman, with the cunningness of a fox.
Wilson said it is in this light that the idea that women are "better" cheaters has taken root.
She said women are better cheaters because:
o They tend to keep their infidelity a secret (often not even sharing with close friends) to protect themselves, family and even the spouse, while men tend to brag.
o They have been taught to lie to preserve relationships and so may be better at lying.
o Women pay closer attention to details, therefore they will be more adept at identifying what needs to be covered up, while men will not generally notice little changes in the relationship -- clothing, scents etc.
o Women generally have better social skills and are proficient at reading non-verbal cues (changes in facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, etc) and are therefore better at faking them. Men tend to miss these cues that can help identify if a spouse is cheating, so women are also better at identifying a cheating partner.
o Women are more careful - logging out of e-mail and Facebook accounts, determining meeting spots etc, while men tend to be reckless.
But, Wilson warned, being better at cheating is nothing to gloat about.
"It is not a virtue and in the long run is not desirable to the cheater and never desirable to the person who is cheated on," Wilson warned. "Infidelity is really a symptom of deeper relational issues and is destructive."
She said men tend to cheat for sexual excitability, while women cheat because of unhappiness in the relationship.
She said other reasons persons cheat include a lack of sexual intimacy, unhealthy communication, disillusionment with marriage, lack of emotional support, and lack of intimacy in the relationship.
"Further, poor conflict management, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, neglecting to spend time with your spouse, ignoring the need to maintain romance and simple failure to resist temptations may also lead to infidelity," Wilson said.