5 Things You May Not Know About Infidelity

Could your relationship survive an affair? We’ve uncovered some surprising statistics about the frequency and cause of infidelity.

Infidelity, a sad woman stares into the distance as her boyfriend or husband watches her in the backgroundphoto credit: shutterstock

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.

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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.”

Watch Helen Fisher’s fascinating TED Talk on why we love and why we cheat.

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.

12 Subtle Signs Your Partner Is Cheating On You

Originally Published in Best Health Canada