Odds of Spousal Infidelity Are Influenced by Social And Demographic Factors

Olenick, I.
May 2000
Family Planning Perspectives;May/Jun2000, Vol. 32 Issue 3, p148
Academic Journal
The article reports on how social and demographic factors influence spousal infidelity. Some 11% of adults who have ever been married or cohabited have been unfaithful to their partner, according to the results of a national survey. In the first analysis of its kind, the investigators assessed the influence of adults' opportunities for meeting additional sex partners, sexual values and tastes, current relationship and demographic characteristics on the odds of being unfaithful. When these factors were analyzed together, thinking about sex several times a day, having had a high number of prior sex partners, living in a central city being male or black, and having been part of a couple for a long time were all associated with an increased risk of infidelity. Disapproving of sexual infidelity and sharing social networks with one's partner were associated with reduced odds of having been unfaithful. Overall, 11% of respondents reported infidelity. Among the 1,717 adults who had been married only once, 16% reported having engaged in extramarital sex; of the 2,010 respondents who had been in a cohabiting or marital relationship in the 12 months prior to the survey, 5% reported unfaithful behavior during that period.


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