»

Can you ever reform a bad boy?

I do love Russell Brand (there's just something about men who manage to look sexy in eyeliner) but obviously not as much as Katy Perry does. I mean, I'm not sure – even given the opportunity, which would have been highly unlikely – I'd have married him. Would you?

The ultimate bad boy and self-confessed sex addict declared undying devotion, and swore he was a reformed man, after meeting the gorgeous pop star 10 years his junior. But all the wagging tongues stopped and drooled with anticipation last week when he was pictured casually ambling about hand in hand with some blonde from his latest film set.

Holding hands doesn't constitute infidelity, of course, and he and Katy have just bought a nice new $6.5m house together so there's all hope they are solid. Nevertheless, if 'insiders' (yes, I know) are to be believed, Mrs Brand was somewhat miffed that her husband of eight months had been photographed with another woman at all, let alone holding hands with one.

That's understandable – it must be hard enough to be so famous your relationship is constantly being scrutinised in the world press, but when commentators follow their 'tut-tuts' with 'told you sos', you're going to start feeling like a bit of a plank. Well, might she have made a mistake in thinking she could tame a bad boy? Can a leopard (Brand, Cole, Rooney and the like) really change his spots?

Science had something to say about this recently. Not leopards actually, but zebra finches, have apparently shown there might be an infidelity gene, handed down from male ancestors. These are teeny weeny birds – they do not exactly provide the perfect excuse for human philanderers to proclaim: "You see? I quite literally couldn't help myself!"

I suppose it is interesting, though, the possibility that nature might make some more prone to a wandering eye (bit of a shame they don't have spots so we could identify them). French psychologist Maryse Vaillant got some people a bit huffy a couple of years ago when she brought up the question of whether monogamy is natural or even particularly good for we humans. Women, she suggested, should see their husbands affairs as a sign of a healthy marriage.

Hmm. I'm pretty sure the wives of Ryan Giggs and Tiger Woods weren't feeling the glowing health of their relationships the moment they discovered their husbands' indiscretions. I rather expect they also would have been unimpressed with the new excuse provided for the chaps recently by Czech scientists – that seeing their fathers cheat when they were growing up subconsciously affected their own adult behaviour.

Natural or otherwise, monogamy has been en vogue for some time and most people see it as the socially acceptable norm. So surely it's a brave lady who wholeheartedly believes in it and still marries – or goes back to – that particular brand of lothario? Just as everyone (particularly the female population I think) is fascinated to see if Katy Perry really has tamed her wild cat, many (again, predominantly female) people are watching Cheryl Cole apparently taking Ashley back and thinking 'duh!'.

Meanwhile, the applause for Ayda Field, aka Mrs Robbie Williams, has yet to peter out. I guess every leopard can change his spots if he really wants to. Well, that's the story so far anyway.