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Studies suggest around 30–40% of unmarried relationships and 18–20% of marriages see at least one incident of sexual infidelity.Rates of infidelity among women are thought to increase with age.
A study by Liu found that the likelihood for women to be involved in infidelity reached a peak in the seventh year of their marriage and then declined afterwards; whereas for married men, the longer they are in relationships the less likely they are to engage in infidelity, except for the eighteenth year of marriage, at which point the chance that men will engage in infidelity increases.In that study which involved 19,065 people during a 15-year period, rates of infidelity among men were found to have risen from 20 to 28%, and rates for women, 5% to 15%.A survey conducted in 1990 found 2.2% of married participants reported having more than one partner during the past year.Depending on the context, men and women can experience social consequences if their act of infidelity becomes public.The form and extent of these consequences are often dependent on the gender of the unfaithful person.There is currently debate in the field of evolutionary psychology whether an innate, evolved sex difference exists between men and women in response to an act of infidelity; this is often called a "sex difference".
Those that posit a sex difference exists state that men are 60% more likely to be disturbed by an act of sexual infidelity (having one's partner engage in sexual relations with another), whereas women are 83% more likely to be disturbed by an act of emotional infidelity (having one's partner fall in love with another).
In general, national surveys conducted in the early 1990s reported that between 15-25% of married Americans reported having extramarital affairs.
Treas and Giesen found that people who had stronger sexual interests, more permissive sexual values, lower subjective satisfaction with their partner, weaker network ties to their partner, and greater sexual opportunities were more likely to be unfaithful.
It is more common for men compared to women to engage in extradyadic relationships.
The National Health and Social Life Survey found that 4% of married men, 16% of cohabiting men, and 37% of dating men engaged in acts of sexual infidelity compared to 1% of married women, 8% of cohabiting women, and 17% of women in dating relationships.
One measure of infidelity among couples is the frequency of children secretly conceived with a different partner, leading to "non-paternities".