You can now add your manfriend's sexual dysfunction to the list of Cosmo-approved signed he's cheating on you (along with talking too much or too little, sleeping on his side, and certain breathing patterns). A new study found people who have performance anxiety issues are actually more likely to cheat.
While most research on infidelity has focused on demographics, a new study published in journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour examined how interpersonal factors and sexual personality can predict unfaithfulness as well. According to University of Guelph professor Robin Milhausen, the researchers found that "demographic variables may not influence decision — making as much as previously thought — that personality matters more, especially for men."
506 men and 412 women in monogamous heterosexual relationships responded to surveys about their background, relationships, and sexual personalities. 23% of the men said they've been unfaithful, which is on par with the 19% of female cheaters. However, their motivations were different. Both men who are easily aroused by various triggers and situations, and those who have performance anxiety, were more likely to cheat. It's a bit surprising that men want to share their potentially embarrassing sexual troubles with even more partners, but the researchers say these men hope a new and risky situation will help them overcome their problem. They may also prefer sex with a stranger, because in the event of a humiliating sexual experience, they never have to look them in the eye again.
The study found women were more focused on relationship issues. Cheating is twice as common in women who are unhappy with their relationship, and three times more likely when the woman feels she and her partner are sexually incompatible.
Milhausen says she's aware that these findings are a bit cliché:
"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."
So there's no foolproof way to predict if someone will be unfaithful? Good job, science. Now we'll have to keep turning to ladymags to fuel our totally unfounded cheating fears.
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