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Study looks into personality factors affecting infidelity

Men with sexual performance anxiety are more likely to cheat on their partners, a new study on the factors that predict infidelity found.

Men who are risk-takers or easily sexually aroused are also more likely to wander. For women, relationship factors seem to be most important factor, according to the research by U.S. and Canadian scientists.


Maria Shriver (left) and Arnold Schwarzenegger smile together at the Governor's Inaugural Ball at the Sacramento, California, Convention Center on Jan. 5, 2007. Schwarzenegger and Shriver have since split and fresh allegations of infidelity by Schwarzenegger have arisen. (MCT)
Maria Shriver (left) and Arnold Schwarzenegger smile together at the Governor's Inaugural Ball at the Sacramento, California, Convention Center on Jan. 5, 2007. Schwarzenegger and Shriver have since split and fresh allegations of infidelity by Schwarzenegger have arisen. (MCT)


The study conducted by Robin Milhausen of Guelph University in Ontario, Kristen Mark and Erick Janssen of Indiana University, was published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

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 Milhausen.

“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 is the first to look at how demographics, interpersonal factors and sexual personality affect infidelity.

It 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.

The study found little difference in rates of infidelity reported by men and women (23 and 19 percent, respectively). But different things predicted the behavior for men and women.

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.

For women, relationship happiness is paramount. Women who are dissatisfied with their relationship are more than twice as likely to cheat; those who feel they are sexually incompatible with their partners are nearly three times as likely.

Milhausen cautions against misinterpreting or overemphasizing the study’s findings. “Taken at face value, this research might seem to just support sexual stereotypes: Women are just concerned about the relationship, and, for men, once a cheater, always a cheater, regardless of their relationship. But the caveat is that there are a lot of variants and factors that are not explained here that might impact whether someone cheats.”

(Herald Online)

Edited by Rob York





(한글요약) 

'이런 성격이 연인을 배신한다'



모험을 즐기고 쉽게 흥분하거나 자신의 성적 능력에 집착하는 남성일수록 상대를 배신할 가능성이 높은 것으로 나타났다.

학술저널 “Archive of Sexual Behavior”에 발표된 미국, 캐나다 과학자들의 공동 연구에 의하면 연인을 배신하게 만드는 요인인 여성의 경우 주로 상호관계에, 남성의 경우 성격에 내재해 있는 것으로 보인다.

연구진들은 성격적, 상호관계적 요인이 종교, 혼인 여부, 수입, 교육 수준 등 보다 더욱 큰 영향을 미친다고 말했다.

온타리오 소재 겔프대학의 로빈 밀하우젠 연구자가 “이번 연구는 인구학적 변수가 생각한 것보다 덜 영향을 미치며 인격이, 특히 남성의 경우 더욱 중요하다는 것을 밝혔다”고 말했다.

이번 연구는 최소 3개월에서 최대 42년까지 한 사람의 상대자와 관계를 가지고 있는 506명의 남성과 412명의 여성을 대상으로 진행되었다.
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