Things are different in France

Less than half of French people think that cheating on one’s partner is wrong

President François Hollande engaged in a long tradition of French rulers to have (at least) one mistress in addition to his wife. President Mitterrand had an illegitimate daughter from a mistress. Nicolas Sarkozy went as far as to divorce his wife and marry his mistress while he was president. Mr Hollande did the same, but before being elected, and it has now come to light that he had been keeping a mistress almost as soon as he got elected president. While such an affair would have caused a huge scandal in the USA and many other countries, perhaps forcing the president to step down, it doesn’t seem to bother French people too much.

In fact, the French have been far more accepting of infidelity than people in other countries for many centuries. Libertinage is an old French tradition. Powerful men are excepted to maintain mistresses (who are sometimes married too) and are easily forgiven for having illegitimate children with them. This is one of the reasons why paternity tests and any kind of DNA test which can identify a person’s progenitors areprohibited in France, the only country in the world to have such a law. French politicians clearly do not want to have to pay child support for their bastards. Why else would such a preposterous law have been voted, in disrespect of fundamental Human Rights, in a morally lenient country that likes to think of itself as the cradle of Human Rights ?

recent poll clearly shows that French people have a more forgiving attitude to cheating than any other nations on Earth. Only 47% of French people condemn unfaithfulness as morally unacceptable. This contrasts sharply with other Western countries where at least 60% agree that this is wrong. Even in Italy and Spain, the other cultures “Latin lovers” closely related to France, 64% of respondents are opposed to cheating on one’s partner. In English-speaking countries this ranges from 76% in the UK and Canada to 84% in the USA.