I recently read a post on Tales From a Bar Stool on SA’s brief encounter with a millionaire, Bruce*. The man she explains in her post is too common of what I have witnessed of many wealthy men in the finance/mining industry of Vancouver – rich, married (or in a relationship), and always on the prowl to find a new female plaything. Both of the men simultaneously hitting on SA were taken, one even with children, but their relationship status surely didn’t stop any of them from sending her “unfavourable innuendos” between rounds at Glowbal and bottle service at Republic. Reading the post made me wonder, do married men behave badly and act this way because they feel that their financial status entitle them to adultery?
Let’s take this a few steps back to some of my own experiences. Back in the day, I used to work in the event and party promotion business. In my years of working at nightclubs, hosting VIP guests, and mingling with various types of partying Vancouverites, I witnessed a lot of different types of men. I’ve seen well-known, established businessmen act like A.D.D. ridden assholes after snorting lines of coke, I’ve seen married men disrespect any sort of monogamous vows after a few drinks, and I’ve heard millionaires (who were married with children), proposition women with a high-rolling lifestyle if they take up being their side-fling. Out of the different types of men I’ve seen, I have to say, the ones I saw behaving the worst (in Vancouver) were the men who were of the higher income bracket. There is no statistical data to back this up, my observation comes purely from looking at the kinds of men who behave the worst publically (cheat, abuse substances, objectify and disrespect women, etc). My observations lead me to question, is a man’s income tied to such behaviour? Do certain income brackets and industries breed certain socially acceptable behaviours and character in men?
Let’s look at the relationship between adultery and income. A recent study conducted by MSNBC showed that among men making more than $300,000 a year, 32% reported cheating, compared to 21% of men making less than $35,000 a year. Similarly, in a blog post on Yahoo Health, Editor-in-Chief David Zinczenko references a study that revealed that men who earned more money had a higher likelihood of cheating than those who earned less. Don’t get me wrong, women cheat as well, however the relationship appears to be reversed. Studies that show that poorer women are more likely to cheat than wealthier women. One professor postulates that women cheat as a way to shop for a better long-term partner or better genes for their children. Men, on the other hand, when selecting their prey, typically choose women of lower status and achievement who will idolize them.
With money, comes power. Toronto-based clinical psychologist, Dr. Oren Amitay, says men (and women) with power tend to have an “overinflated sense of confidence that allows them to think they’ll get away with bad behaviour.” Amitay also suggests that a sense of entitlement plays a part in why rich and high profile men like Tiger Woods and Arnold Schwarzenegger risk hurting their families and reputations for their sexual pursuits. “They’ve lived their lives being told by everyone around them they’re special, they’re entitled. ‘You deserve whatever you want; you’re that great.’ And if you’re being told that, why wouldn’t you believe it?
Perhaps rich men are just presented with more opportunities to cheat. Seems like Chris Rock was on to something when he joked, “Men are only as faithful as their options.” And the reality is, those options are plentiful. There is always a steady stream of willing females lined up to be a side-fling, reinforcing that such adultery is acceptable and even rewarded. I’m glad that SA didn’t end up continuing the night with those men, and I give kudos to the classy women out there who don’t participate in perpetuating that cycle.