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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.
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.
These differences have been generally thought due to evolutionary pressures that motivate men towards sexual opportunity and women towards commitment to one partner.
In addition, recent research finds that differences in gender may possibly be explained by other mechanisms including power and sensations seeking.Results, however, vary year by year, and also by age-group surveyed.For example, one study conducted by the University of Washington, Seattle found slightly, or significantly higher rates of infidelity for populations under 35, or older than 60.According to The New York Times, the most consistent data on infidelity comes from the University of Chicago's General Social Survey (GSS).Interviews with people in non-monogamous relationships since 1972 by the GSS have shown that approximately 12% of men and 7% of women admit to having had an extramarital relationship.One measure of infidelity is covert illegitimacy, a situation which arises when someone who is presumed to be a child's father (or mother) is in fact not the biological father (or mother).