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22 percent of married men have strayed at least once during their married lives.
14 percent of married women have had affairs at least once during their married lives.
Younger people are more likely candidates; in fact, younger women are as likely as younger men to be unfaithful.
About 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an affair at some point in some marriage
"Monogamy Myth", Therapist Peggy Vaugn It is estimated that 53% of all people will have one or more affairs during their lifetime. Look at the numbers from a recent issue of Playboy Magazine: -2 out of 3 women and 3 out of 4 men admit they have sexual thoughts about co-workers. -86% of men and 81% of women admit they routinely flirt with the opposite sex. -75% of men and 65% of women admit to having sex with people they work with.
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;
Infidelity is becoming more common among people under 30.
Many experts believe this increase in cheating is due to greater opportunity (time spent away from a spouse) and young people developing the habit of having multiple sexual partners before they get married (see, young and restless - Wall Street Journal).
As more and more women enter the work force, "office romances" are becoming more common. Spouses often spend more time with coworkers than with each other.
The initial decision to be unfaithful is rarely ever a rational choice; instead infidelity is usually driven by circumstances and one's emotions. In fact, most people are surprised by their own behavior at the start of an affair (see, decision to cheat).
Biological evidence (i.e., research on biology and reproduction) indicates that long-term monogamy is difficult for humans to achieve - NOT impossible, but difficult (see, Barash and Lipton or the myth of monogamy - Salon.com).
The best educated guess, according to researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, is that an affair takes place within 40 to 76 percent of marriages: “A conservative interpretation 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.”
On her journey, which makes pit stops in Japan, South Africa, France, Indonesia and the United States, author Pamela Druckerman finds there's no country in the world where people are immune to temptation. She also discovers -- no surprise there -- that men are more likely to cheat, as are those in the lower-income bracket. Druckerman also finds that American men and women under the age of 40 tend to cheat at about the same rate. But adultery crises in America last longer, cost more, and inflict more emotional torture than anywhere else, says Druckerman, author of the new book "Lust In Translation: The Rules of Infidelity from Tokyo to Tennessee" (Penguin Press).
Among North Americans, for example, marital lapses are widely perceived as the first step toward divorce court, says Druckerman.
Yet in European frontiers and beyond, infidelity is simply considered an unexpected challenge to overcome. While the purportedly open-minded French are perceived as bed-hopping adulterers, they are actually just slightly less unfaithful than North Americans, Druckerman found in her informal survey of worldwide cheating.
Druckerman realized during her travels as a former foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal that it was not just North Americans who obsess over questions of fidelity and monogamy. "But I noticed people have very different ways of coping with aftermath of infidelity and that actually you can learn a lot about culture by looking at their private lives," Druckerman told CTV.ca. "One of the conclusions in my book is that North Americans are particularly bad at dealing with infidelity," she says.
Unlike other continents, the social taboo over adultery still casts a shadow over North America, Druckerman says. "Adultery provokes more outrage in America than in almost any other country on record," Druckerman writes. She blames the founding fathers for instilling within Americans a fear of immorality, believing as they did that "the strength and perhaps the very survival of their country hinged on the moral fitness of its citizens."
Where North Americans are still comparable prudes, Druckerman found views on between-the-sheets relations to be starkly different in Russia.
"In Russia, I basically couldn't find anyone in the country who hadn't cheated," she says. "The taboo was in the opposite direction -- if you hadn't had an affair you lied and said you did."
Maryse Vaillant claims French men should stop being castigated for being serial womanisers and that keeping a mistress can actually improve their marriage. In a controversial new book on the effects of infidelity on married life, Men, Love, Fidelity, Miss Vaillant says her aim is to "re-habilitate infidelity".
According to figures cited in the book, an estimated 39 per cent of French men cheat on their wives at some stage in their life. "[Most] don't do it because they no longer love them, on the contrary," she said. "They simply need breathing space. For such men, who are in fact profoundly monogamous, infidelity is almost unavoidable".
Once French women accept that the "pact of fidelity is not natural but cultural", and that infidelity is essential to the "psychic functioning" of certain men who are still very much in love, it can be a "very liberating" for women, she contends.
Originally posted by MysticPearl
However, only 3% of mammalian species are socially monogamous, but 15% of primate species are socially monogamous.