Cheating is a ruthless dirty game with more losers than winners, and 16% of married Americans do it. And we all know men are notorious at getting caught for stepping out on their partners; yes, cheating is a male stereotype. But the real question is: which gender cheats more?
Let’s settle this today based on findings from solid research.
Infidelity has been the downfall of many great and popular people, showing that nobody is immune to this vice.
Infidelity statistics from the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy show that about 57% of men admit to having been unfaithful at some point in their lives. That number of women (54%) who admit to committing infidelity at some point in their lives is almost as big.
So, in a way, the cheating rates are not too different between the genders.
In America, estimates indicate that men are more likely to cheat than women. Apparently, 20 percent of married men cheat, compared to 13 percent of women.
But that’s not the full picture.
Among 18 to 29-year-olds, women were more likely to cheat. Men take the lead from the ages of 30 and 39.
Sadly, cheating increases as the years go by, and for men, the behavior starts to fall only when they are in their 80s. For women, the rates of infidelity decline after the ages of 60 to 69.
This means men in their 70s are more likely to cheat than any other age demographic. You would think younger men would be more susceptible to this behavior. So, that’s surprising.
The Gender Gap Is Closing
There is no telling how the trends will change with time. As it is, some categories of women are cheating more than their male counterparts.
That has not happened before.
Similarly, the gap between cheating rates for men and women is falling for all age groups.
Cheating rates also seem to differ based on ethnicity, with Hispanics turning out to the most faithful group in America with rates of 13 percent compared to 22 percent for black adults.
The sexual revolution clearly impacts infidelity rates across the world, which is why middle-aged men and women are among the world’s most unfaithful spouses today. Currently, only 11% of 18 to 34-year-olds cheat on their spouses, compared to 18% of married people over 65 years of age.
Attending religious services also seems to have a huge impact on how people value faithfulness in marriage. In general, those who attend services once or less than once a year do more cheating than everyone else.
Also, couples who grew up with both parents are a little less likely to cheat. Only 15 percent of those who were brought up by both parents cheat compared to 18 percent of those who were not raised by both parents.
The only thing discovered not to have a significant impact on infidelity is education level. Those who dropped out at high school were just as likely to cheat as those who went to college.
The Devastating Impact Of Unfaithfulness
Cheating leaves behind far too many casualties, and those who do it often realize this too little, too late. It’s not just the spouse that suffers, but the kids and the rest of the family. And to be honest, the cheater doesn’t usually enjoy the consequences of their actions either.
For starters, cheating increases the chances of divorce significantly.
Divorce rates for couples who did not cheat on each other is just 17 percent. But for couples where cheating was involved, a dramatic 40 percent divorce rate was reported.
Similarly, couples who did not cheat on each other had a 76 percent chance of remaining married to each other compared to only 53 percent of those who had to deal with cheating at some point during their marriages.
Is It Possible To Recover From Cheating?
Sometimes, recovery from cheating is possible. At other times, a spouse never recovers from betrayal and quits the relationship completely.
Many cheaters never remarry after betraying their partners, and the social stigma associated with this vice certainly has plenty to do with that.
But yes, it’s possible to move on with the relationship after cheating.
Statistics indicating that over half of marriages did not end up in divorce after the infidelity is clear proof that cheating does not have to be the end of the marriage. But obviously, the level of satisfaction in such unions is a different matter altogether.
One way married couples move on after cheating is by attending counseling sessions after the affair. This helps to build trust.
That’s never an easy process, but if it works as intended, the effort is usually worthwhile. Some marriages are actually happy even though their partners cheated.
Rebuilding trust after cheating can take years, and many of those who choose to keep their marriages alive do it while still working on getting their partner’s trust.
So, What’s The Verdict?
Whenever we hear of infidelity in marriage, the first suspect is usually the man. But studies show that this stereotype is blown way out of proportion. While it’s true men cheat more, the difference is not that staggering.
In fact, in some cases, women do most of the cheating. And who knows what might happen in the future?
Younger women are already proving that they can be responsible for most infidelity in committed relationships within their age groups.
Another surprising discovery is that older men tend to cheat the most. Not the more virile and wilder younger men most people believe would be more susceptible to lack of self-control and respect for matrimonial vows.
Maybe the novelty of the institution of marriage fades off as time goes by.
However, based on how close the cheating rates between men and women are, it’s hard to know who does most of the cheating. All we can say for now is that all genders cheat on their partners just as much.