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But why do people cheat?

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That's murkier. Official numbers are hard to come by—makes sense, given the secretive subject matter—but most indicate that somewhere between about 10 percent and 70 percent yes, over two-thirds of women have cheated.

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Another more recent and perhaps more accurate study showed that about 15 percent to 18 percent of married people have cheated on their spouses. That still means the vast majority of people aren't cheaters, which is great to hear. But, even though we all know cheating is wrong, some people still do it.


Why do people cheat? We asked those who have done it what their reasons were. Here's what they shared:. I never had a lot of sexual options through high school and college, but after school, I really hit my stride.

For the first time, women were hitting on me, and I was drunk on the feeling. One night, I let it go too far and slept with a woman at a party. I didn't tell my girlfriend it happened but broke up with her on a trumped-up fight instead. The absolute truth is that I could have likely had all the things I was seeking in my affair with my wife. It was a lack of effort and too much old programming that led to me to believe otherwise. She was steadily becoming more religious, and what we wanted out of our sex life was very different—and we were operating on a long-distance relationship.

I needed a way to end it by making him end it for me.

This Is the Number One Reason Women Cheat

Cowardice, really. That was a huge mistake. For us, monogamy is a recent invention-- the earliest human ancestors likely lived similarly to chimpanzees today, in large multi-male, multi-female groups. This organization is the optimal strategy for a species on the move. Meanwhile, primates with one dominant male and many females, like Gorillas or Orangutans, typically have the male defending some piece of valuable territory for his harem.

Our ancient, polygamous male ancestors thus had to compete with each other to father the most children. Since the birth of monogamy in humans, however, our testes may have somewhat shrunk, while chimps, still in their harems, have maintained the largest testes of all apes not surprisingly, the purely monogamous gibbons have the smallest.

Nevertheless, our larger testes mean more sperm and a brain more interested in delivering those sperm.

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All these theories, however, remain controversial, even after decades of debate. In turn, some men have decided to engage in infidelity, and even sexual misconduct, in order to satisfy their basal desires. Such teenage recklessness demonstrates the dangers when sex drive overpowers ratiocination.

12 science-backed facts about cheating that all couples should know

We have come a long way from our primal ancestors on the African Savannah. Read about an ancient love triangle that changed the face of humanity today here. On the other hand, many birds and even our close relatives the gibbons almost always partner for life. We are the only primate to undergo two-thirds of brain growth in the two decades after birth. As a medical student and award-winning researcher with a background in genetics and anthropology, I tell the story of, by and for our species.