It is estimated that roughly 30 to 60% of all married individuals (in the United States) will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage (see, Buss and Shackelford for review of this research). And these numbers are probably on the conservative side, when you consider that close to half of all marriages end in divorce (people are more likely to stray as relationships fall apart; also see, who is likely to cheat).
If you want to know all about marriage ask your resident rump ranger, whatever!
Although extramarital sex may be the marital activ-
ity most often cloaked in secrecy, empirical estimates of affairs over the
course of a marriage range from 30 to 60% for men and from 20 to 50% for
women (Glass & Wright, 1992; Kinsey, Pomeroy, & Martin, 1948; Kinsey,
Pomoroy, Martin, & Gebhard, 1953; Hunt, 1974; Athanasiou, Shaver, &
Tavris, 1970; Levin, 1975; Petersen, 1983). Estimates of the combined prob-
ability that at least one member of a married couple will have an affair over
the course of a marriage range from 40 to 76% (Thompson, 1983). Estimates
of inﬁdelity over the course of a single year of marriage, however, obviously
yield lower estimates such as 5% (e.g., Greeley, 1991). A conservative inter-
pretation of these ﬁgures suggests that although perhaps half of all married
couples remain monogamous, the other half will experience an inﬁdelity over
the course of a marriage. Thus, a critical theoretical and practical issue is
what predicts who has affairs and who remains maritally faithful.
Gender is the most consistent previously established predictor of inﬁdelity.
As the above statistics indicate, more men than women have affairs. Among
those men and women who do have affairs, men typically have affairs with
a greater number of partners than do women (Lawson, 1988). Men who have
affairs are more likely to do so without emotional involvement, whereas
womenís affairs are more often accompanied by emotional involvement
(Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983; Glass & Wright, 1985). Gender is also linked
with the sequelae of inﬁdelity. A womanís inﬁdelity is more likely to lead
to divorce than is a manís inﬁdelity, across a variety of cultures (Betzig,
1989). Women whose husbands have affairs report that they are more willing
to forgive their partner than are men whose wives have affairs (Lawson,
1988). Finally, men are more likely than women to see their own extramarital
sex as justiﬁed and experience less guilt when they engage in it (Johnson,
1970; Athanasiou et al., 1970; Spanier & Margolis, 1983).
In your link, which appears to be well-sourced, there is a sub-link to a WSJ article that states that for married persons under 30, the infidelity rate for men is at 19% and for women at 13% (2006 data). These rates are substantially higher than they were in 1991, so the article goes on to explain the researchers' conclusions as to why.
I find this interesting, only because since demographic data (loosely framed) suggest that since people are getting married later in life than perhaps 20-30 years ago, there shouldn't appear to be as large an impact on the entire married population as a subset that is numerically smaller, but nonetheless appears to be driving the overall infidelity rate higher.
How do you equate this to homosexual "married" couples? Or, perhaps better framed, how do you equate your earlier assertion that homosexual partners do not remain monogamous?
Also of interest is this list of Buss & Shackelford's references:
How do you explain that the premise of the article quoted by you, i.e., 30% - 60% of married individuals in the U.S. are likely to cheat (based on 2006 data) is not supported by the Buss & Shackelford's references? Buss & Shackelford's list of references are not dated as recently as 2006 -- the most recent is 2003.Buss, D. M. (1989). Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 12, 1-49.
Buss, D. M. (2000). The dangerous passion: Why jealousy is as necessary as love and sex. New York: Free Press.
Buss, D. M. (1999). Evolutionary psychology: The new science of the mind. Boston : Allyn and Bacon.
Buss, D. M. (2003). The evolution of desire: Strategies of human mating (Second Edition). New York : Basic Books.
Buss, D. M., & Shackelford, T. K. (1997). Susceptibility to infidelity in the first year of marriage. Journal of Research in Personality, 31, 193-221.
In fact, a quick scan of that extensive reference list shows only ONE entry from 2006. The rest are dated earlier. This may or may not be an issue, but it does cause me to dig a little deeper.
And finally, from the web site "Truth and Deception" itself, from the "About Us" page:
Bolded emphasis mine. I'm not terribly convinced that the presenters of this information are wholly unbiased.We are a group of scholars, scientists, and working professions interested in sharing information about why people lie to, and cheat on, those they love. More importantly, all of the articles provided on our site are written by someone who has a PhD in one of the social sciences.
Personally, we have all been deeply hurt by a loved one who has betrayed our trust.
Professionally, our jobs provide us with the opportunity to investigate deception in everyday life - we work as scholars or have served as consultants to the security industry. Over the years we have had a unique opportunity to think about why people are so willing to betray those they love.
We created this website to share with you what we have discovered - the "Truth about Deception"
We hope you find our website useful and informative. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments or provide us some feedback.
For more information about us and what we are trying to do, please see a question from a viewer and our response to it.
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