Raising Faithful Sons Begins at Mother's Knee

Having sex with someone other than a spouse is often viewed as "an accepted fact" in countries like Japan and China, according to Watts.

"Most countries do not dwell on it at all, including many European countries," said Watts, who is 61 and now lives in Maine."So I think that men in America are put into a different expectation role when it comes to fidelity."

"The male species is programmed to biologically to spread their seed," she said. "Men with nurturing parents who feel free to talk about their sexual issues during adolescence and the threshold years [18-25] probably have a greater likelihood of being faithful."

As for her own sons, now in their 20s, Watts assumes that within their relationships with women they are honest about their needs.

"But I doubt that they are saints," she said. "Sex is a hugely complicated issue for boys."

Pepper Schwartz, a University of Washington sociologist who has written about sex and parenting, says boys who respect their mothers and sisters are more likely to understand women, "liking them as people, not as challenges."

"The more they see women as individuals, the more they see them as wanting the same thing as them, going horizontal and vertical," she said.

Raising sons to be faithful entails teaching them self-esteem and encouraging cross-sex friendships.

Once a man has an emotional relationship with a woman, a purely sexual one "seems empty," said Schwartz, author of the 2007 book, "Prime: Adventures and Advice on Sex, Love, and the Sensual Years.".

Sex should also never be taboo and recognize humans are sexual creatures, she said.

"There should be a period of time when someone can sow their wild oats and no one looks down on it," said Schwartz. "It's an adventure for young people and you acknowledge it and the let it run its course."

Tiger Woods might have benefitted from not having to live up to the "professional good guy" image, she said.

Schwartz said she knew of no research that points to any one thing that a mother can do that might actually promote infidelity.

As for Friedman, she is leery of a book that purports to be a study of human behavior without scientific evidence.

"It's very clever when you think about it," said Schwartz. "Of course everything is in the subconscious and it's hard to argue about because it's not measurable."

"This is the worst kind of research you can possibly do, to cherry-pick men who are non-monogamous who have a nanny in their life," said Schwartz. "There are 4,000 other reasons why men cheat."

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