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The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Do We Care if Other People Cheat? 1. Who are these "Bad Girls" Anyway? (And Where Did You Find Them?) 2. A Large Penis is Always Welcome 3. You're not the Boss of Me 4. A Gift You Give Yourself, But Nothing Comes for Free 5. Sometimes You Just Need a Subcontractor Conclusion: The Things You Learn from Bad Girls: Conclusions and Implications Resulting from this Inquiry on Women and Outside Partnerships

About the Author

Alicia Walker is assistant professor of sociology at Missouri State University.


In certain marriages, behind smiling family photographs, are everyday women who carry dangerous and delectable secrets. In this revealing new book, they tell their stories. Unwilling to divorce, but frustrated by sexual boredom and the tedium of modern middle class life, their affairs serve as a release valve for an otherwise stultifying reality. Full of contradictions, Walker's interviewees offer a window onto the 'cheating wife,' one that challenges our assumptions about women, power, morality, and monogamy itself. -- Lisa Wade, Occidental College
This fascinating and well written book develops a sociology of infidelity, bringing insight into marriage, monogamy, relationships, and internet dating that will be useful for researchers examining relationships, professors teaching classes about the family, sexuality, and gender, and counselors of patients who are involved with infidelity. I was intrigued by the details of how women who cheat think about their actions, form and negotiate the details of their affairs, and the benefits and drawbacks they get from those affairs. The distinct social norms around affairs reveal what we often take for granted in other relationships. Many of my assumptions about affairs were overturned, and it was a fun read too! -- Arielle Kuperberg, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife challenges gendered stereotypes and expectations of what and how women desire. Using compelling data, Walker demonstrates both diversity and commonality among unfaithful women and, in a truly sociological way, makes sense of the complexity of this stigmatized identity. A great read for anyone interested in sexualities in the digital age. -- Beth Montemurro, Penn State University, Abington

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