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New Study Attempts To Explain Why People Cheat


Dami Olonisakin

Editorial Assistant

 David Prado Perucha/Shutterstock

Monogamous relationships aren’t always so monogamous – sometimes someone veers from the commitment and steps out and cheats. However, a new study in The Journal of Sex Research has revealed exactly why some people stray from their partner.

The research used an online questionnaire and asked 495 adults (average age of 20) who had cheated in the past why they had done so.


The results suggest several reasons as to why individuals chose to pair off with someone else outside their relationship. Of those surveyed, 57 percent shared that they cheated to boost their own self-esteem, whilst 70 percent shared that it was down to neglect from their current partner or due to situational reasons, such as intoxication.

Another reason included them simply wanting more variety in sexual partners (74 percent). The top reason for why those who took part in the survey cheated was because they felt a lack of love (77 percent).

In a past study, the results were quite similar. Research from the University of Tennessee, published in the Journal of Sex Research, looked at 104 males and females in their 20s who admitted to cheating in the past, both emotionally and sexually.

The main reason why men and women engaged in infidelity was because their partners weren’t completely invested in “fulfilling their needs for interdependence”, leaving them to feel as if they should look elsewhere for it (73 percent). Interdepence in a relationship is described as a healthy mutual reliance on each other. On the other hand, 20 percent yearned for more independence. 


Other past studies suggest people may be a tad obsessed with having options when it comes to love interests, regardless of how long they’ve been together. Even in long-term relationships and marriages, some individuals felt tempted to cheat, but avoided it.

In fact, a past study published in The Journal of Sex Research surveyed individuals to find out why some changed their minds when thinking about cheating. The study included 423 individuals who rated 29 given reasons for why they avoided infidelity. The highest answer was their morality and being scared of ending up alone. What’s more, the chances of women cheating were most likely to occur within six to 10 years of marriage, while for men it was after 11 years.


healthHealth and Medicinehealthhealth
  • tag
  • sex,

  • relationships,

  • Emotions,

  • health,

  • love,

  • trust,

  • cheating,

  • sexuality,

  • dating,

  • infidelity,

  • sexual,

  • Commitment