New research published in the Journal of Sex Research provides insight into factors associated with emotional and sexual motivations for infidelity. The results show that one of the most consistent predictors is dissatisfaction with the primary partner.
Satisfaction with the secondary “fraud partner”, on the other hand, is a less consistent predictor.
“We have always been interested in the motivations for infidelity,” say study authors Jana Hackathorn and Brien K. Ashdown, associate professor at Murray State University and associate professor at Hobart & William Smith Colleges, respectively.
“So far, however, we have not had access to a population that specifically used an online website for this behavior. After publishing some previous work on motivations for infidelity, the opportunity arose to collect data from a sample of people who are currently seeking an extradyadic partner and we took the chance. “
In the study, 545 members of AshleyMadison.com, a popular website for those interested in extramarital affairs, conducted a brief anonymous online survey of their motivations for infidelity and other factors. The majority of participants (81%) said they were male and the median age was 48.89 years.
Unsurprisingly, those who said their primary partner was not adequately meeting their needs were more likely to say they were looking for a secondary partner because they had “fallen out of love”.
“One of the things we found most often in the data was that the secondary partner (or the ‘other woman / man’) didn’t have as much influence or motivation to cheat as the ‘real one’ did us World ‘could lead believe. The biggest influence / motivation to cheat was dissatisfaction in the primary relationship, especially among men. However, greater sociosexuality (ie more comfort during casual sex) has been very influential for both men and women, ”the researchers told PsyPost.
The researchers found that participants who were younger and had greater Christian identification were more likely to have an affair in order to “come back” to their steadfast partner.
Women and those who reported less satisfaction with the relationship were more likely to report an interest in infidelity because they felt neglected. Participants who persecuted a secondary partner for wanting more sex were more likely to be male, had unrestricted sociosexual orientation, stronger Christian identification, and less satisfaction with their primary partner.
“We’re both very interested in what happens next. For example, how can someone engage in infidelity while trying to continue the current primary relationship? We expect to explore this behavior through cognitive dissonance theory, and are really interested in the level of aversion that may be possible, the strategies people may use to reduce dissonance, and whether they will have to keep using those strategies. “Hackathorn and Ashdown said.
The researchers initially recruited 2,030 paying members to the site. However, 1,485 participants were excluded from the study for not using the website to cheat.
“The AshleyMadison.com website is a dating website. Due to the hack that occurred a few years ago, we started our study under the false assumption that it was a “fraudulent” website – and of course part of that came from their slogan, “Life is Short, Have One.” Affair”. How shocked were we to find out that a clear majority of participants who completed our study were there for dating – not infidelity? Some of them were also very angry with our adoption, ”said Hackathorn and Ashdown.
The study “The Web We Weave: Predicting Infidelity Motivations and Satisfaction with Extradyadic Relationships” was published online on April 6, 2020.