Infidelity is, sadly, very common. Many of us know someone who’s been cheated on, and some may have experienced it themselves. On the other hand, others were the ones who have been unfaithful to their partners. But the gender of who cheats more and their reasons for doing it varies.

Who Cheats More? Men or Women?

Gender: Men Cheat More

A study by the General Social Survey shows that men are more likely to cheat than women. Out of the men and women they gathered, 20% of the men have been unfaithful to their partners before, and 13% of women had sex with other people despite being in a relationship with someone else.

Ages 20-29: Women Cheat More

Women in their 20s have the tendency to cheat on their spouses more than men. 11% of the women aged 18 to 29 said they cheated on their spouse before. However, when it comes to men of the same age group, 10% of them admit to being unfaithful to their spouse. Which doesn’t seem to differ much.

Ages 30-39: Men Cheat More

Men in their 30s, however, seem to be more prone to engaging in an affair with other people. 14% of them said they cheated. 11% of the women aged 30 to 39 also admit to cheating on their spouses.

Ages 60 and Up: Men Cheat More

It also seems that the older men get, the more likely they are to cheat on their spouses. 24% of men in their 60s cheated on their partners before. And 26% of men aged 70 and up have been unfaithful to their spouses, at some point.

However, 16% of women in their 60s also admit to being unfaithful to their spouse before. But it seems that the older women get, the less likely they are to cheat — as 13% of those in their 70s have been unfaithful to their spouse. And only 6% of women in their 80s admit to infidelity.

So who cheats more, overall? Men.

Reasons Why Some People Cheat

The Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy published a study that shows a few reasons why people cheat on their partners. Here are some of the data they gathered based on the answers of 495 people who participated.

  • Anger
  • Lack of love
  • Stress
  • Intoxication
  • To boost one’s self-esteem
  • Low commitment
  • Need for “variety” or want to explore
  • Sexual desire

Interestingly — yet somehow unsurprisingly — those who felt the need to boost their self-esteem, wanted to feel more affection, and those who were angry at their partners when they cheated, had longer affairs (and more satisfying sex with the third party) than those who impulsively cheated — such as the people who wanted to destress or those who were drunk.

What Constitutes Infidelity?

People have different definitions of what constitutes infidelity. Oftentimes, even in marriages and relationships, disagreements, jealousy, fights, and even breakups and divorces occur because couples don’t seem to agree with each other’s definition of cheating. However, In a poll commissioned by HuffPost (in partnership with YouGov), among the 1,000 Americans they surveyed, here are the questions they were asked and what counts as cheating to them:

Sexting, or sending someone sexy texts

79% considered sexting or sending someone risqué messages or photos counts as cheating. However, it also states that women are more likely to consider it cheating than men. Only 74% of men find sexy texts cheating vs. 85% of women.

A romantic or emotional connection with someone else

As for catching feelings for someone else, 60% said that it’s counted as cheating.

Kissing someone else on the lips

Oddly enough, only 48% of those who were polled think kissing someone else on the lips constitutes infidelity.

Contacting your ex

You could say that the majority of Americans don’t find reaching out to their ex as a form of adulterous behavior — only 24% of those who were surveyed think contacting your ex counts as cheating.


Regardless of who cheats more, infidelity shouldn’t be normalized. Though based on the statistics, men are more likely to cheat than women. And men in their 60s and older seem to be the most likely time that they’ll cheat on their partners. Women, on the other hand, aren’t prone to cheating as much as men. However, women in their 60s tend to also be the most likely time they’ll cheat on their partners — but as they get older, they seem to lose interest in the idea of being unfaithful.

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