Friday, March 16, 2012

Fidelity survey results

There were 232 male and 59 female responses that were usable. I had to throw out a few that didn't provide meaningful responses, such as those that answered "N" for a question concerning which the possible answers ranged from A to E. I also omitted the responses of a few polyamorous snowflakes; since the objective is to examine normal human fidelity the behavior of those who define the concept differently is of neither interest nor use.

Women

32% never married. 8% reported their own marital infidelity, 14% reported marital infidelity on their husband or ex-husband's part. 31% of all women, married and unmarried, reported cheating on one or more pre-marital boyfriends. Of those who were unfaithful in marriage, 100% cheated on other boyfriends who were not their eventual husbands.

Female sexual infidelity rose considerably with increased sexual experience. None of the married women with 1-3 partners reported cheating, 20% with 4-9 partners did, as did 43% of women with 10+ partners. (There was an insufficient number of married women in category E, reporting 20+ partners, to be meaningful, so I included them with category D here.) There was no discernible pattern relating female sexual experience to male infidelity.

Men

24% never married. 15% reported their own marital infidelity, 23% reported marital infidelity on their wife or ex-wife's part. 28% of all men, married and unmarried, reported cheating on one or more pre-marital girlfriends. Of those who were unfaithful in marriage, 65% cheated on other girlfriends they did not eventually marry.

The risk of both marital cheating and marital betrayal rose with male sexual experience. 3% of the men with 1-3 partners reported cheating and 14% reported betrayal, 12% of the men with 4-9 partners reported cheating and 30% reported betrayal, 28% of the men with 10-19 partners reported cheating and 31% reported betrayal, and 43% of the men with 20+ partners reported both cheating and betrayal.

The risk of divorce also rose with male sexual experience, although less smoothly. Whereas only 6% of the men with between 1-9 partners were divorced, 13% of the men with 10-19 partners and 35% of the men with 20+ partners were divorced.

Now, there superficially appears to be somewhat of a chicken-or-the-egg problem here, as one could argue that divorce and female infidelity precedes promiscuous male behavior. But the reports of premarital behavior tends to preclude this possibility, because men with 1-3 partners average one-half the number of serious premarital girlfriends and one-twentieth the number of betrayed premarital girlfriends as those with 10+ partners.

Conclusions

Infidelity is neither as rampant as is commonly assumed nor does it lead to divorce in the majority of cases. More of the men here than the women have experienced marital infidelity, nearly one quarter, which is unsurprising given a betrayed man will tend to be more inclined to swallow the red pill of Game. Both male and female cheaters tend to marry cheaters, but there is a surprising amount of premarital infidelity even among the relatively inexperienced. However, that premarital infidelity is less likely to translate into subsequent marital infidelity.

I was also surprised to see that the more sexually alpha a man is, the more likely it is that he will be betrayed by his wife. This is directly contra conventional Game theory, although both Athol and Roissy have theorized that while most women seek ALPHA, those with a surfeit of it may develop a craving for BETA. Alternatively, it could simply be a tit-for-tat reaction to habitual Alpha infidelity, or it could be the explanation towards which I incline, which is that because ALPHAS will tolerate higher Ns than lower rank men, they will tend to marry higher rank, higher N women who not only possess a greater proclivity to stray, but are subject to more frequent and determined attempts to seduce them. Of course, it could simply be a combination of all three of these factors.

I also noticed that female infidelity was somewhat more predictable than male infidelity, which is to say that her premarital behavior tends to be more in line with her marital behavior. Men tended to show more variability, as unlike women, there were men who were unfaithful in marriage who had never been unfaithful before marriage. This may or may not be because women with high N are less likely to marry than their male counterparts; only 43% of women in the N=20+ category had ever married versus 64% of men.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cherry Picking data leads to buying swimwear when one should consider a nice down sweater, or at least a red-headed moaner.

Besides, the statistical tails are where all the interesting things happen.

At +3 Z you get to ignore the norms ;)

VD said...

No one gives a damn, Snowflake. It's not cherry picking to ignore the obviously irrelevant. Now, this isn't about you and it doesn't concern you, so drop it.

Trust said...

@: " was also surprised to see that the more sexually alpha a man is, the more likely it is that he will be betrayed by his wife. This is directly contra conventional Game theory, although both Athol and Roissy have theorized that while most women seek ALPHA, those with a surfeit of it may develop a craving for BETA."
___________

Perhaps these also could be the alphas with much younger trophy wives, who get cheated on with pool boys and such.

Trust said...

@: " was also surprised to see that the more sexually alpha a man is, the more likely it is that he will be betrayed by his wife. This is directly contra conventional Game theory, although both Athol and Roissy have theorized that while most women seek ALPHA, those with a surfeit of it may develop a craving for BETA."
_____________

I also strongly believe alphas are more likely to find out about their wives cheating than betas are. Alphas are less likely to buy their excuses. I think, even accounting for the hot younger wife who cheats on alphas with pool boys, betas probably simply don't find out as often as an alpha would.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the cheaters are more aware of the other side cheating, and that would explain the higher percentage of reported betrayals, while the actual percentage is relatively unchanged?

Daniel said...

Or the cheated alpha doesn't care as much, valuing the social fidelity of a spouse much higher than the occasional "discrete indiscretion," especially since one of the hazards of his own social status is the possibility of a higher number of such transgressions on his part.

I'm not saying it doesn't hurt, or is in some way a welcome problem to have, but (to restate the obvious) 30% to 40% of alphas being cheated on means that 70% to 60% of alphas aren't cheated on. All the alphas I know would take those odds without much concern.

A few of the ones I know who have been cheated on were actually glad to have her out of their way for a while, it seems, as long as the rumors weren't socially damaging.

Being cheated on, while never a good thing, simply isn't as emotionally and socially damaging to the alpha as it is to those with fewer options and a greater investment of themselves into the marriage. The alpha has options, and she knows it - mathematical game theory very much still dictates her choices.

VD said...

Perhaps the cheaters are more aware of the other side cheating, and that would explain the higher percentage of reported betrayals, while the actual percentage is relatively unchanged?

Very unlikely, considering the size of the gap. Especially since there were considerably more men in the low N categories. Even if we allow for female underreporting, there simply isn't room for that much infidelity. Like it or not, it's the alphas who are 3x more likely to have an unfaithful wife.

Notice that the low N men still have wives that betray them at nearly 5x the rate that they cheat, whereas the Alpha cheat/betrayal ratio is 1.

Professor Hale said...

I suggest, based on no evidence, that Alphas get cheated on more precisely because they are alphas. The woman who seeks an alpha for marriage will eventually tire of him just from being around him. She is an alpha seeker. Getting one doesn't erase that drive. She still likes in other men the same thing that attracted her to her own alpha. Other alphas see that in her and feed it.

Daniel said...

Yeah, that doesn't make that much sense to me. All women are alpha seekers, after all - there's just too low a supply of them to meet demand. Furthermore, at a certain point in time, due to age and N count, a woman cannot pull in a new alpha, and experiences vastly diminishing returns in cheating.

I do think you might be right that alphas who are cheated on (again - merely a large minority of all alphas) have a higher frequency because "they are alphas," but not because of the wife's polygamous nature - because of his. It seems obvious to me - just based on observation - that there is a subset of alpha that is decidedly "old school French" in nature.

In other words - an alpha who has mistresses might tolerate a spouse with a lower-order lover to a higher degree than men who are not in that sub-class of the upper class of the hierarchy.

After all, lower than alpha men do not have the financial luxury of ancillary entangling alliances on either side of the ledger. Those things tend to cost some money.

Anonymous said...

I would be interested to see a poll on the chicken & egg problem mentioned. I reported that my wife cheated and that I cheated also. I would have never considered it prior to her. Also, as you divined, that very act of infidelity is what led me to the red pill. I am sure my path is not unique.

Anonymous said...

My wife was a widow. She believed that her first husband cheated on her, but never had any proof. What bothered her most is that her husband accused her of cheating on him, which she tells me she never did.

Could it be that some cheating men assume their wives are doing the same to justify their own behaviour? So that Alphas who cheat would report that their spouses had cheated, whether they had or not.

Posted anonymously to protect the Mrs.

Anonymous said...

Trying to understand patterns is very difficult. For example, I never cheated on my one high school girlfriend because I was very religious (also was a virgin when I married in my mid-20s), and was faithful in my marriage for 20-plus years until I experienced a very rocky patch of marital discord, a profound religious disillusionment (mid-life crisis? ;-) ), and then in the short space of a few years racked up a +20 count divided between escorts and flings.

All that is to say that unless you're scoring for a wide variety of "other" factors, discerning trends may, perhaps, seem a bit chaotic.

Stickwick said...

All women are alpha seekers, after all - there's just too low a supply of them to meet demand.

All women may be attracted to alphas, but not all of us actually want one.

JartStar said...

All women may be attracted to alphas, but not all of us actually want one.



Alphas by their very nature are narcissistic. You can't change a narcissist, but you can go for a ride of your choosing with one and they can take you far (executives and politicians for example).

The greater infidelity in women with Alphas is likely a combination of an already higher N count of the woman, combined with living with an Alpha could be very difficult in the long term.

edjamacator said...

Looks like those who start out doing things God's way (virgins at marriage - or close, as there didn't appear to be a simple "one" choice for sexual partners) remain faithful much more than those who refrain from God's design for sex and marriage. Not a surprise.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the mention of people being perhaps more likely to stray because of having more frequent and determined efforts to seduce them - I know that was always a problem in my marriage, for both of us.
It's no excuse, I know, but it simply is a corrupting and difficult thing, whether due to your looks, personality, social environment, that some people do not have present as a challenge.

Anonymous said...

You look at the following statistic:
- of the people who cheat while married, how many have cheated before (and you find 100% for women, 65% of men).

I think you should also look at:
- of the people who cheat before marriage (and then marry), how many cheat during marriage.

So the important question here is - are there cheaters (male or female) for whom marriage is an actual deterrent? If so, how sizable is this population?

Johnycomelately said...

Boy, certainly doesn't bode well for the 1-3 partner guys.

I wonder if the self reported 14% of betrayal is the actual figure, considering it is possible most betrayal would go unnoticed by a beta (1-3). How likely is it that the number would be much higher?

Anonymous said...

All women may be attracted to alphas, but not all of us actually want one.

That is just fine, since alphas don't want to be saddled anyway. Works out well for both sides...

modernguy said...

What confuses the issue is the definition of alpha. Having a high number (high N in Vox gay nerdspeak) doesn't tell you anything about the man. Roissy is (presumably) an alpha. Tom Brady is also an alpha. Which do you think is more likely to have women cheat on him?

Game, unfortunately, doesn't change the man, no matter how much internet pick up artists and internet pseudo-intellectuals would like it to. Game is not the be-all, no the end-all.

Lux said...

I find it interesting that the percentage of men self-reporting infidelity nearly matches the percentage of of a husband's infidelity as reported by a wife at around 15%. Yet women only self-reported infidelity at 8% versus a husband's report of a wife's infidelity at 23%. I am interested in the noticeable difference in reported infidelity on the part of the wife. Is this due to a small statistical sample, differing definitions of infidelity, or is one party lying?

Smithborough said...

"I also strongly believe alphas are more likely to find out about their wives cheating than betas are. Alphas are less likely to buy their excuses. I think, even accounting for the hot younger wife who cheats on alphas with pool boys, betas probably simply don't find out as often as an alpha would."

Wow, the male hamster does exist......

xsplat said...

The correlation is stark – virgins are less likely to divorce or cheat, and the higher the partner count, the greater the risk for both.

The automatic conclusion for most men is therefore that for life satisfaction in an LTR, get a faithful woman. And to get a faithful woman, get a woman with the lowest partner count possible.

The thing that men who value lifetime commitment and purity will never be able to empathize with, is that some men don’t hold lifetime monogamy in as much esteem, and do hold sexual heat in a relationship in relatively higher esteem. The trade-off is worth it to them.

Those who value lifetime bonds also have a very difficult time with the fact that people have innate predispositions. Girls with lower libido are less likely to have many partners. Girls born and built with higher libido are more likely to have more partners.

I personally would every time choose a high fidelity risk hottie with overpowering sexual heat over a tepid hottie who would never possibly cheat.

And when we divorced, I’d get another.

I’d much rather look back at a lifetime of 10 passionate and supercharged romances over a period of 20 years than one long easy low maintainance very secure tepid bland relationship of 20 years.

Women with higher libidos have a higher fidelity risk. That suits me fine.

Rollo wrote an article about such statistics here http://rationalmale.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/pseudo-virginity/ and I have to agree with his main point; how strongly a man registers to a woman changes how much she bonds with him.

It does happen that a girl can have fucked hundreds of guys and never even had an orgasm. Then she’ll meet some guy who she has incredible chemistry with, and becomes a never ending Niagra Falls of cum. To her that will be the first lover she ever had. She’ll say I love you 50 times a day and talk of how if you die she’ll never fuck another person.

That happened to me a few years ago, but the girl died on me. But I’ve had other experiences that were in the same category, with a girl being with other guys after me but still routinely letting me know that for her there is no other man in the world except for me. Years after breaking up, and years after her being with many guys.

As Rollo says, all numbers are not equal. Girls don’t just hop from this penis to that penis. They hop from one level of intensity to the other. The greatest intensity and connection is not equal to the others. Men are not equal.

Women are not equal, and men are not equal. We are not all just another digit. Some men count more.

And here is what I believe is natures evil little twist: the men who are most likely to want secure lifetime commitment are the same men that are least likely to be that guy who eclipses all other experiences before or after.

This is why the security men place such a high value on fidelity. Because they do not want to compete in the sexual marketplace.

They want to compete in a marketplace of fidelity.

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