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The Facts of Infidelity
Part 8: Cheating and Big Fancy Words or More Research on Infidelity

For our last article in our infidelity series, we’ll go over some more in depth research findings on the subject. To start, we need to define a few words.

  1. Sociosexuality refers to the degree to which someone is willing to engage in a sex outside of a committed relationship. The less restricted one’s sociosexuality, the more willing they are to engage in casual sex, and vice versa.
  2. Extradyadic is a fancy word for “outside of a committed relationship”. Generally, it is followed by the word sex; and “extradyadic sex” is generally referring to an extramarital affair.
  3. Avoidant attachment style refers to being less comfortable with commitment.

Sociosexuality is highly relevant:

As researchers predicted, they found that women have a higher extradyadic sex inclination also have a lower inclination to “sex-love-marriage” and commitment. Conversely, among females, extradyadic inclination was less for those with a greater cognitive association of sex-love-marriage. However, for males, there was no such connection.

50% of men and women in top 20% of sociosexuality have admitted to being unfaithful. This is more than double the average rate of infidelity in the population.

At the top quintile, men and women are nearly as equally as high in their relevant sexual experiences as men in the top male quintile.

Comparison of Top Quintiles on Self-Reported Behavioral Correlates of the Sociosexuality Scale Scores in Percentages (2000)*

Women Men
Had sex with someone the same day you met 59 78
Got pregnant, or got someone pregnant, before marriage 32 31
Had sex after having a lot to drink 77 88
Was unfaithful to a steady partner 48 63
Had sex with two people in a 24 hour period 29 50
Ever had a sexually transmitted disease 19 24

The length of the relationship was not found to be a significant predictor of either extradyadic kissing or sex inclination.

An avoidant attachment style also predicts cheating in college students, both male and female:

People with avoidant attachment styles are less comfortable with intimacy and are therefore more likely to have multiple sexual encounters and cheat.

About 68 % of college students had thought about cheating and 41 % actually had. Aside from sexual satisfaction, the results indicated a strong correlation between infidelity and people with an avoidant attachment style.

For those with an avoidant attachment style, infidelity could actually be a defense mechanism. Cheating can be used as a regulatory emotional strategy to help an individual with an avoidant attachment style to avoid commitment phobia, distance themselves from their partner, and help them keep their space and freedom. In other words, since the person has a fear of commitment, they may actually cheat, not because they want to cheat, but because it hinders commitment in a primary relationship.

Just as many men and women had an avoidant attachment style and the correlation with infidelity is just as strong on both sides.

A survey of 1002 undergraduate students found that those who reported having rebound relationships after a breakup were more likely to have cheated on a previous partner. The complete profile of the average rebounder doesn’t get much better, either:

Undergraduates who were ‘love seekers”, “deceptive”, “unconventional” and “hedonistic / risk takers” were significantly more likely to report having been involved in a rebound relationship.

We hope you’ve gained valuable insight into the issue of infidelity, whether it be within the context of marriage or another committed relationship.

Remember, if you or someone you know is going through this situation, Tom D. Wilson Investigations can help. Click here to learn how.

Contact Tim D. Wilson Investigations

To learn more about Tim D. Wilson Investigations and how we can provide the help and support you need, visit us online or call us at (713) 956-1111.

Other articles in our infidelity series:


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