Are You Likely to Have an Affair? Reply

A scene from ‘The Graduate’ with Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman. Infidelity is one of the most complex, least clear-cut areas of relationship research. Most people don’t want to admit they have been unfaithful.

A scene from ‘The Graduate’ with Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman. Infidelity is one of the most complex, least clear-cut areas of relationship research. Most people don’t want to admit they have been unfaithful.

Risk Factors for Cheating Are Age, Gender and Relationship Satisfaction

By Elizabeth Bernstein, Wall Street Journal

I was struck by a recent study showing that people might be more likely to cheat on a partner in the year before a milestone birthday. This suggests that if you’re in a committed relationship, you’re at roughly a 10-year cycle for heightened risk of infidelity.

Researchers said they worked with Ashley Madison, a dating website for people seeking extramarital affairs, to analyze data on more than 8 million men who had registered with the site. The study was one of six published together in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” in 2014 that examined when people make big life changes. It found 950,000 men were ages 29, 39, 49 or 59, or “9-enders,” and their numbers on the dating site were 18% higher than what would be expected by chance, according to the researchers from New York University’s Stern School of Business and the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study also looked at data for women and found a similar, though less pronounced, pattern.

Infidelity is one of the most complex, least clear-cut areas of relationship research. Most people don’t want to admit they have been unfaithful.

Everyone, even the experts, has a different definition of “infidelity.” Some define it narrowly as sexual intercourse with someone who isn’t your spouse or committed partner. Others define it more broadly to encompass a range of sexual activities, or even emotional infidelity such as flirting or sharing secrets.

To be clear: If you break the rules of sexual or emotional commitment in your relationship, whatever they may be, it is infidelity. Different relationships have different rules. You know when you’ve breached them.

The more broadly infidelity is defined, the more common it is. The number people seem most interested in is how often married people have sex with someone other than their spouse. Most studies show that between 1 in 5 and 1 in 4 married people will admit to having engaged in sexual infidelity, says Justin Lehmiller, a Purdue University psychologist who studies sex and relationships and is the author of “The Psychology of Human Sexuality.”

Yet experts say almost everyone has thought about cheating on a spouse at one time or another, whether it’s fantasizing about a date with Bradley Cooper or flirting with a colleague over lunch.

Have you ever wondered if you’re in danger of being unfaithful? The experts advise you to look at these risk categories. People who engage in infidelity typically fall into more than one.

Article continues at “Gender”

 

 

 

 

 

Is Once a Cheater Always a Cheater? Reply

Cheaters

Understanding the reasons behind infidelity

by Kelly Campbell, Ph.D., Psychology Today

Over 90% of Americans believe infidelity is unacceptable, yet 30-40% of people engage in it. Infidelity is associated with adverse outcomes such as depression, violence, divorce, and homicide. Considering these negative effects, why do people cheat? Is the phrase, “once a cheater, always a cheater” true? Here, I answer these questions and outline the three reasons for cheating.

1. Individual reasons. The phrase “once a cheater, always a cheater” refers to individual reasons for cheating or qualities about the person that make them more prone to commit infidelity. Researchers have identified a variety of individual risk factors including gender, personality, religiosity, and political orientation. Regarding gender, men are more likely than women to commit infidelity. This is largely because men have more testosterone, which is responsible for the strong desire to have sex. Regarding personality, those who have less conscientious and less agreeable personalities are more likely than people high on these traits to commit infidelity. If you’re wondering about your own personality, take this assessment: personalitytest. Very religious people and those who have a conservative political orientation are less likely than non-religious and liberal people to commit infidelity because they have more rigid values.

2. Relationship reasons. The second reason people cheat is for relationship reasons or characteristics about the relationship itself that are unsatisfying. For these people, becoming involved in a more well-matched partnership diminishes or eliminates their desire to cheat. So, the phrase “once a cheater, always a cheater” does not hold true for these people. Instead, factors about the relationship itself must be examined. Researchers find that partnerships characterized by dissatisfaction, unfulfilling sex, and high conflict are at risk for infidelity. Partner dissimilarity is also associated with infidelity. The more dissimilar partners are in terms of factors like personality and education level, the more likely they are to experience infidelity.

3. Situational reasons. The third reason people cheat is because of the situation. In such cases, a person might not have a cheating personality and might be in a perfectly happy relationship, but something about their environment puts them at risk for infidelity. Some situations are more tempting than others. For example, spending time in settings with many attractive people makes cheating more likely. The nature of a person’s employment is also related to infidelity. Individuals whose work involves touching other people, personal discussions, and one-on-one time are more likely to have an affair. When the sex ratio is imbalanced (i.e., an overabundance of men or women in the population), people are also more likely to experience infidelity. Finally, in terms of geographic region, people who live in urban areas, as opposed to rural, less populated regions, are at greater risk. This is because people in metropolitan areas generally have more liberal attitudes about extramarital sex and because cities have larger numbers of people, which creates an environment of anonymity and an abundance of partners with whom to have sex.

Feature continues here: Is Once a Cheater Always a Cheater?