Interesting Infidelity Statistics

From an article entitled THE EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY AND ECONOMICS OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR AND INFIDELITY

by Donald Cox,  Department of Economics Boston College:

“Rates of infidelity are indeed non-trivial: for instance one-quarter of all ever married men reported having had at least one extramarital affair.

• There exist marked sex differences in age patterns of infidelity. Women are far
more likely to commit infidelity early in the relationship.

• Cheating men are more likely than cheating women to have sex an affair with
someone younger than their spouse. On the other hand, cheating women are more
likely than cheating men to have an affair with someone better educated than their
current spouse.

• One possible interpretation of the pronounced prevalence of infidelity among
younger women is that it reflects search for a new partner. Dictates of the
biological clock suggest that, if a woman finds herself matched with an unsuitable
partner, then she had better not procrastinate in seeking out a new mate, and
extramarital affairs might reflect this search activity.

• Indeed, as it turns out, outside evidence indicates that young women are far more
likely than young men to initiate a divorce. If a spell of infidelity is little more
than a stepping stone to a new relationship, its economic significance may well be
quite small—a divorce was in the cards, and infidelity would merely be a
consequence of a poor existing match.

• Infidelity would be far more significant a problem, however, if cheaters had no
intention of splitting from their spouses, something evolutionary psychologists
call a “short-term” mating strategy. For instance, it has been posited that a poor
woman, concerned about provisioning her offspring, might seek relations outside
her marriage with the aim of garnering additional resources. Indeed, it turns out
that poverty is correlated with infidelity among female respondents (but not
among males).

• However, there is little evidence that rich men are more prone to infidelity,
counter to evolutionary-based claims that economically successful men are able to
garner more than their fair share of mates.”

From this work we see that men cheat with younger women and women cheat with more educated men. Men look for sexy bodies to carry their children and women look for good genes and high status. With all due respect to Prof. Cox work, I already read that at Roissy’s blog.

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