Here’s what surveys say.
According to data from a recent General Society Survey, the Institute of Family Studies reports that 20 percent of men and 13 percent of women have had sex with someone other than their spouse while married.
So, now that we know how common having an affair seems to be in both men and women, what else do we need to know? That infidelity hurts? Check. That infidelity is usually a symptom of a much deeper problem? That infidelity often destroys mental, physical and financial wellbeing? Check and check. Well then, why does it happen? Specifically, why do men cheat? And, why do women cheat? Experts agree the sexes do usually turn to infidelity from different angles. Per author John Gray, some men can have perfectly great sex lives at home and still stray just because the opportunity is there. He argues that, on a whole, men are better able to detach sex from those sticky, sweet feelings women associate with the act.
So why do 13 percent of women cheat? Some argue that a woman having an affair is looking for an escape, either momentarily or permanently, from a relationship that just doesn’t work. However, as we move away from our Victorian Era sexual mores (not to mention petticoats), maybe more women are just interested in getting it on with someone else.