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MEN AND WOMEN: Scientific facts about cheating

We’re fascinated by infidelity. Poets, novelists, songwriters and film makers have all tried to understand why people have affairs – and so have scientists.

Some of their findings are quite scary — like women are much more likely to cheat if their mothers cheated. Men are much more likely to cheat if their fathers cheated. So could cheating be inherited? At least partly.

People who have one particular variant of the DRD4 gene are much more likely to have uncommitted sex, and to be promiscuous and unfaithful.

This gene is also linked to risky, sensation-seeking behaviour such as heavy drinking and gambling, all behaviours that cause a dopamine “rush”.

And because the drive for a dopamine rush is separate from the drive for commitment, you can be seriously looking for a long-term relationship, and still be having endless one-night stands. At the same time. Or be deeply in love with your partner. And still stray.

Having this particular gene is no excuse, of course, because human beings do have free will. But there’s no doubt that people who have this gene are far more likely to cheat than people who don’t.

Scientists have also found that women tend to go for guys with deep voices when they’re looking far a short-term fling.

But subconsciously, they also know that they’re more likely to cheat on them. So they tend to avoid them when searching for a long term partner!

Infidelity is also bad for your health — like men are much more likely to fracture their penis during an affair than when they’re at home with their wives.


Men who cheat are also more likely to have heart attacks during sex. Heart attacks are actually rare when a man has sex with his wife at home.

But once he starts playing away, the dangers grow. So much so that a president, a prime minister and a pope are all reported to have died this way!

“Sudden coital death” is far more common when a man is having sex with his mistress.

No one knows why for sure, but a secret sexual encounter in an unfamiliar setting significantly increases blood pressure and heart rate, and extra-martial sex may also be more hazardous because of the stress of wining, dining and satisfying a younger woman.

You’ll also be amused at some of the other things scientists know about people who cheat.

Like men prefer to take their mistresses to popular but anonymous restaurants that are some distance from their homes, dimly lit and close to the sort of hotels where these dates usually end.

Women who go out without their partners while they’re ovulating also show some interesting behaviours — like travelling further than usual from their homes, going to places they normally don’t go to, and wearing clothes that show more skin!

And the most likely time for people to cheat? Early evening, mid week! Just when you least expect it…