Statistics on

Sexual Affairs


  • Although statistics vary widely*, according to a recent study published in a leading U.S. women's journal, 64% of married women in the U.S. have had at least one affair.

  • InBritain, 80%women and 60% for men admit they have cheated on a long-term partner.

Women in particularare reluctant to admit affairs, which makes gathering accurate statistics difficult.

For example,an Ohio State University studyfound that young women would "underestimate" the number of sexual partners they had if they felt they could get away with it. However, when the same women were hooked up to a lie detector (which actually wasn't functional, but they thought it was) the number ofreported partners jumped significantly.

Another university study found that in general women at that university averaged more sexual partners than the men.

We know that when a husband is away during wars there are spikes in the statistics for both men and women.

When men are stationed for long periods of time in foreign counties (prior to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars) this has been measured at 85%. The invention of "the pill" has been responsible for a significant jump in affairs among women.

Once wives engage in one or more affairs while husbands are away, they are more apt to have affairs, or continue affairs, when the husbands return. This is especially true if problems develop in the marriages, which often happens in the case of returning soldiers.

Note from the above graph (estimated for urban wives from various sources of data) that for the first time the number of affairs among urban wives may equal the number by husbands.** Elsewhere, we discuss 46 reasons for affairs.

If a man owns an airplane in the U.S., his>>> chances of having an affair with a married woman are more than 70%. (The Week, April 2007)


In some cultures affairs within marriage are just assumed, although not necessarily condoned.

In some Catholic countries where birth control is forbidden and sex is limited by the wife, alarge number of husbands have affairs with "safe" women who use birth control.

The percentage of marriages in which affairs take place varies with the country, with the United States among the lowest among the industrialized nations.

Attitudes toward affairs also differ by countries, with the United States being the most opposed to affairs -- "even if no one gets hurt." (Note graph above.)

In the United States 40% of people feel that religion influences their sex life.At the other end of the scale is France where fewer than 3% feel that it does. In the United Kingdom 16% feel it does, and in Germany,6% agree that it does.

Right now the fear of contracting STDs (sometimes referred to as STIs for sexually-transmitted infections) stop many people from having affairs.

When sexual lubricants with the ability to kill STDs such as AIDS are approved,and male and female libido enhancing drugs hit the market, we will probably see a significant increase in the number of affairs.

* Statistics on affairs wary widely, especially among women where the social stigma against affairs is strong. Admittedly, the figures cited here are skewed toward young, urban, educated women, the demographic that is most apt to respond to questionnaires and surveys.

Earlier studies have concluded that the number of affairs among women is significantly lower than those of men.

At the same time, as we've noted, one recent study puts the number of affairs among urban working women in the United States at 64%, and the percentage in Britain at 80%.

These figures include the small but growing number of marriages where for a variety of reasons husbands allow -- even encourage -- their wives to have sex with other men.

There are many examples on this site including this one.

** One of the original aims of this site was to address the issue of female affairs. Since traditional ways (primarily discord and divorce) were causing major personal and social problems Dr. Lee and Dr. West, champion newer, more forgiving ways.

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