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In one study by Blow, rates were higher in more recent marriages, compared with previous generations.A study by Liu found that the likelihood for women to be involved in infidelity reached a peak in the seventh year of their marriage and then declined afterwards; whereas for married men, the longer they are in relationships the less likely they are to engage in infidelity, except for the eighteenth year of marriage, at which point the chance that men will engage in infidelity increases.In marital relationships, exclusivity expectations are commonly assumed although they are not always met.When they are not met, research has found that psychological damage can occur, including feelings of rage and betrayal, lowering of sexual and personal confidence, and damage to self-image.For example, one study found that some women in more financially independent and higher positions of power, were also more likely to be more unfaithful to their partners.These findings suggest there may be various factors that might influence the likelihood of some individuals to engage in extradyadic relationships, and that such factors may account for observed gender differences beyond actual gender and evolutionary pressures associated with each.There is currently debate in the field of evolutionary psychology whether an innate, evolved sex difference exists between men and women in response to an act of infidelity; this is often called a "sex difference".Those that posit a sex difference exists state that men are 60% more likely to be disturbed by an act of sexual infidelity (having one's partner engage in sexual relations with another), whereas women are 83% more likely to be disturbed by an act of emotional infidelity (having one's partner fall in love with another).
The form and extent of these consequences are often dependent on the gender of the unfaithful person.
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.
In general, national surveys conducted in the early 1990s reported that between 15-25% of married Americans reported having extramarital affairs.
Treas and Giesen found that people who had stronger sexual interests, more permissive sexual values, lower subjective satisfaction with their partner, weaker network ties to their partner, and greater sexual opportunities were more likely to be unfaithful.