Are you dating a cheater? A new study reveals the most common personality traits associated with the cheaters and those given to infidelity. The offending traits, it turns out, are sexual performance anxiety for both genders, recklessness in men and relationship/attachment issues in women. Unhappiness and sexual incomparability are the kiss of death for women, in particular.
Psych Central reports:
What makes a partner stray? Sexual performance anxiety, for one; risk-taking tendencies in men, relationship issues for women.
These findings are part of a new study that is the first to look at how demographics, interpersonal factors and sexual personality affect infidelity.
For both men and women, personality characteristics and interpersonal factors are more relevant predictors than are religion, marital status, education or gender.
“Few studies on infidelity have gone beyond exploring demographics,” said Robin Milhausen, Ph.D., who conducted the study with doctoral student Kristen Mark and Erick Janssen, Ph.D., of Indiana University.
“This research shows that demographic variables may not influence decision-making as much as previously thought — that personality matters more, especially for men.”
The study was published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.
The study involved 506 men and 412 women who reported being in monogamous sexual relationships lasting from three months to 43 years. Participants were asked to report on demographic variables such as religion, education and income. They also completed scales that measured sexual personality variables and answered questions about their relationships.
Remarkably, men and women reported similar rates of infidelity (23 and 19 percent, respectively). However, the factors associated with predicting unfaithfulness varied greatly by gender.
For men, significant predictors of infidelity are personality variables, including propensity for sexual excitation (becoming easily aroused by many triggers and situations) and concern about sexual performance failure.
While the fear of sexual performance failure would seem to be an odd reason to be unfaithful, researchers say this finding has been discovered in other studies.
What do you think—what are the biggest contributing factors that might lead one to cheat?