Why People Cheat ?
More than 90% of Americans believe infidelity is unacceptable, yet 30-40% of people engage in it. Infidelity is associated with adverse outcomes such as depression, domestic violence, divorce, even homicide. Considering these negative effects, why do people cheat? And is the phrase “once a cheater, always a cheater” true?
Let's start to answer by considering three primary types of reasons for cheating:
1. Individual reasons. The phrase “once a cheater, always a cheater” refers to individual reasons for cheating—qualities about the person that make him or her more prone to commit infidelity. Researchers have identified a variety of individual risk factors, including:
- Gender. Men are more likely than women to commit infidelity, largely because men have more testosterone, which is responsible for the strong desire to have sex.
- Personality. Those who have less conscientious and less agreeable personalities are more likely than people high on these traits to commit infidelity. (If you’re wondering about your own personality, try this assessment.
- Religiosity and Political Orientation. Very religious people and those with a conservative political orientation are less likely than others to commit infidelity because they have more rigid values.