The Traits of an Unfaithful Partner
When it comes to cheating on someone, things are deeper than one may think. It seems that it is all about the anxiety related to the sexual performance; for men it is about risk-taking behaviors and for women, it is about relationship issues.
Being cheated on is not easy and the most recent study made on the issue suggests that interpersonal factors and personality traits are more important when it comes to unfaithfulness than other factors such as education, marital status, religion or gender. “Few studies on infidelity have gone beyond exploring demographics,” said the lead researcher of the study, Robin Milhausen, Ph.D. “This research shows that demographic variables may not influence decision-making as much as previously thought — that personality matters more, especially for men.”
What Milhausen and the group of researchers involved in the study did was to recruit 506 men and 412 women. All the participants in the study reported being in a monogamous sexual relationship for periods of times ranging between three months and 43 years. After being recruited, all the participants were asked to give information regarding their income, religion and education and they also had to complete some scales that measured their sexual personality variables. Furthermore, the people also had to answer questions related to their current relationship.
The researchers discovered that both men and women reported similar rates of infidelity – 23 percent for men and 19 percent for women. However, things changed completely when it came to the reason behind cheating. In what concerns men, researchers said, it seems that the most important factors that determined them to cheat was represented by their personality variables, among which their propensity for sexual excitation (whether or not they became easily aroused) and also, concern about their sexual performance. According to the researchers, even though the anxiety related to the sexual performance may be quite an odd factor to make people cheat, it seems that this also plays a very important role in determining whether or not people are more prone to cheating. According to Milhausen, people seem to be thinking that if they have a sexual encounter outside their relationship and they cannot perform as desired, they may think that it was only a bad day and move on, not caring to much about the other person, given that they would never see them again.
For women, however, things are quite different. If men cheat because of their personality variable, for women the most important factor that makes them cheat is the way in which their romantic relationship works. Women who are not satisfied with their romantic relationship are twice more prone to cheat and when it comes to the sexual satisfaction, they are three times more likely to engaged in adventures. Milhausen explained that this study may make people think that the traditional stereotypes are still doing the trick – women are concerned about the relationship and men, once a cheater, always a cheater. However, she also mentioned that there are a lot of variables which must be taken into account. Still, the study confirms the fact that there are certain factors that lead men to cheat and there are totally other factors that lead women to do so. Either way, when one puts these things together, gets to understand the reasons behind cheating at a deeper level.11