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  • Dean Smith

Cheating Statistics: The State of Relationships and Fidelity in the US

According to, online legal marketplace Avvo, Inc. recently conducted a study about the state of relationships and fidelity in the United States and worked in conjunction with Pepper Schwartz, sexologist at the University of Washington, to interpret the data.Listed below are several key points and interpretations from the study:1. As Americans, we are more open to open relationships. The study revealed that only 45% of men and 62% of women are morally OPPOSED to open relationships. However, Schwartz states that just because people express these attitudes, doesn’t mean they’ll actually feel that way if they were to be involved in an open relationship. Human beings tend to be territorial and jealous about the partners they love.2. Most Faithful Region in the US: the Midwest. One in six people report cheating on a partner (that’s the national rate). But if you’re looking for a faithful partner, head to the Midwest. The study found that only one in 10 Midwesterners reports cheating on a partner, making the Midwest the lowest regional rate of cheating in the entire study.3. Most likely to date a married partner: Northeasterners. The study also showed that Northeasterners are the most likely to date a person who is married. Ah, the homewrecker region. Shockingly, more than HALF of the study respondents from the Northeast were not opposed to dating a married partner.4. Relationship satisfaction does not correlate with monogamy. highlights the most unfortunate and perhaps saddening conclusion drawn from the study: “First, the good news. Seventy percent of U.S. adults are currently in a relationship of some kind, and more than nine in 10 of these couples are satisfied with their relationship. Great, right? Sure, except that cheating rates are the same across relationship satisfaction levels — so satisfaction isn’t exactly tied to monogamy.” We know it happens, and it’s a hard pill to swallow. But people step out on happy marriages quite often.5. Cheating skyrockets in big cities and on the coasts. Stay away from big cities and the coasts (in other words, move to the Midwest)! We’re kidding, however, Schwartz found that cheating rates tend to vary by location, and can reflect the values of the city or region in which a couple lives. “Of course it is true that cheating tends to occur more frequently on the coasts and big cities like New York City and Los Angeles,” she explains. Why? What does a geographical location have to do with whether or not partners have a higher chance of getting cheating on? Ask, and you shall receive. “They have a higher population which generally hold more liberal values,” says Schwartz. Case in point? The West Coast is the most accepting of open relationships.6. A man’s social status influences cheating. An interesting conclusion pertaining to the differences between working class men and men with higher job status and education in reference to faithfulness: “There are some older studies that indicate men from working class backgrounds cheated more when they were younger but quit when they were older,” Schwartz explains. “Men with more advanced education and higher status jobs, however, tend towards monogamy when they are young, but are more likely to be non-monogamous than blue collar guys by the time they reach 40.”

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