Despite near universal disapproval of cheating, infidelity occurs with remarkable regularity.
1. Infidelity is more common than you think
While statistics vary widely on the subject, they generally indicate that 20 to 50 per cent of men and 15 to 30 per cent of women have extramarital affairs. These infidelity numbers have remained consistent over time: American researcher Alfred Kinsey found in his 1950s-era studies that 50 per cent of American males and 26 per cent of females had extramarital sex. This appears to be unchanged over the decades.
2. Happily married people have affairs
A study by Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, found 56 per cent of men and 34 per cent of women who had affairs rated their marriage as “happy” or “very happy.”
3. The gender gap on affairs is closing
Women are 40 per cent more likely to cheat today than they were 20 years ago, according to the Chicago-based National Opinion Research Centre. Some blame the Internet, which makes it easier than ever for women to embark on outside relationships.
4. Men want sex, women want love
According to a May 2012 study by Undercover Lovers, a U.K.-based extramarital dating site, 57 per cent of women reported feeling love for their affair partner, while only 27 per cent of the men said the same.
5. It could be in the genes
Cheating may be genetically predetermined. A 2010 study from New York’s Binghamton University links the dopamine receptor D4 (also connected to sensation-seeking behaviour such as alcohol use and gambling) with infidelity.