How Common Are Extramarital Affairs?
It is difficult to determine accurately how many people have affairs because people may be reluctant to admit to an affair, even for research. For example, a study of almost 5,000 married women found that in face-to-face interviews, 1% of the women said that they had been unfaithful to their husbands in the last year, but with the anonymity of a computer questionnaire, 6% of the same group of women answered yes to this question (Whisman & Snyder, 2007). The NHSLS, with its sample of 3,432 Americans ages 18 to 59, found reported rates of extramarital involvement at some time during marriage of 25% of married men and 15% of married women (Laumann et al., 1994). A more recent study in 2011 found that over 23% of men and 19% of women said that they had "cheated" during their current relationship (Mark et al., 2011). ■ Table 13.2 shows a global comparison of the percentage of adults who say they have had an extramarital affair.