A new study confirms that we're total hypocrites about cheating
Cheating happens, and when it does, you have to ask yourself whether you can overlook it or if it's worth losing the relationship over. How you answer that question, however, may depend on whether you're the one doing the cheating, or the one being cheated on, according to one study in Social Science Research.
Pennsylvania State University researchers asked 8,301 people in married or cohabiting heterosexual relationships if they'd ever slept with someone else. One in four said cheating had taken place in their relationships—and that's just the people who had either done it or knew their partners had. Men were more likely to report cheating, and women were more likely to report their partners cheating.
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When a person's significant other confessed to cheating, regardless of gender or relationship type, the relationship was more likely to end than when there was no cheating. However, when a person was the one cheating (but not necessarily confessing), their relationship wasn't any more likely to end than if nobody had cheated at all.
This suggests that a lot of people aren't actually admitting to cheating, and data from the study support this. About 10 percent of women and 13 percent of men said they'd cheated, but only five percent of men and eight percent of women said their partners had. And people probably weren't breaking up over their own cheating as much as they were over their partners'.
"Our results suggest that if young adults can get away with cheating, they are not likely to leave their partner. If they discover infidelity in their partner, however, they exercise far less tolerance," study author Michelle Frisco said in a press release. "People seem to prefer to play the cheater over the cheated-on." And that makes sense, even if it is kind of depressing.
So, basically, we're hypocrites—and because of that, a pretty significant portion of people end up dating cheaters without knowing it. Yikes.
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