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A shocking new sex study has discovered that there is a narrowing gap between men and women when it comes to infidelity. Men are often thought of first when you mention cheating in a relationship, but it seems that women are reversing that trend! According to the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey, the percentage of wives having affairs rose to 14.7 percent in 2010, while the number of men admitting to extramarital affairs held constant at 21 percent.

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According to family and addictions therapist, Dr. Hokemeyer, women have become more financially independent, social stigmas have been lifted, and attitudes about women engaging in sex have changed – these are the three main factors driving more and more wives to cheat. Allow Dr. Hokemeyer to break down these theories:

1. Women Are Financially Independent

“In my experience over the last 15 years, I’ve seen a surge in the number of married women who have ‘dalliances‘ on the side. One woman, a beautiful executive who was in her mid 50’s had taken up with her building’s super’s son- a Latino man in his early 30’s. She felt completely entitled to the relationship saying, “Listen, I know my husband has had affairs over the years. So why can’t I? Plus this young man is delicious. I deserve some sugar at the end of a hard day of work.’ Central to her feeling of entitlement, was her sense of financial autonomy. “I’m making more than my husband these days,” she said with great pride. “If he doesn’t like it then he can move out. I’ll be fine on my own.”

Women have been preaching about their independence before Beyonce and her cronies decided to make an anthem about it, rocking barely-there bikinis and explaining that their mothers taught them better than bashing one another on the internet. Now, in 2013, women are boldly independent as moguls, top tier entertainers and more. We’ve proven that we have what it takes to stand strong alongside a man and now that power has translated to the bedroom.

2. Social Stigmas Lifted

“Over the last 20 years, I’ve seen a more relaxed approach to sex in general. I attribute this the media, tv shows like ‘Sex in the City,’ ‘Cougartown,’ ‘Single Ladies‘ and others. These shows glamorize casual and predatory sex among women. I also attribute it to the Internet and the ease with which people can “hook up” on line and subsequently in the bed room. Another factor that we can’t ignore is the debate we’ve had over the last decade around gay marriage. These debates have enabled us to look at the institution of marriage as a dynamic institution that should served people equally and meet people’s emotional and sexual needs.”

3. Sexual Attitudes Changed

“One of the most surprising phenomenas I’ve seen in my practice is the permissiveness with which parents approach their daughter’s sexuality. One of the mothers who I was treating talked about her 19-year-old daughter’s sexual escapades as if she was just accepted into an elite college. ‘The last guy who slept over was hot, hot hot,’ she said, practically salivating. She failed to see how inappropriate it was for a 43-year-old woman to be viewing her 19-year-old daughter as a friend, rather than a child who need to learn moderation and responsibility around sex. I think this approach is endemic among parents of millennials. The are raising a generation of self absorbed children who do not have an appreciation for true intimacy and an authentic connection with another human being.”

Dr. Hokemeyer, who regularly contributes to Dr. Oz, Katie, Fox News Channel, and many others has built a successful professional career by not only diagnosing marriage and familial behaviors, but also by providing profound insights as to why certain actions happen.

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