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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.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.In terms of infidelity, the theory states that when sex-ratios are high, men are more likely to be promiscuous and engage in sex outside of a committed relationship because the demand for men is higher and so this type of behaviour, which is desired by men, is more accepted.On the other hand, when sex ratios are low, promiscuity is less common because women are in demand and since they desire monogamy and commitment, in order for men to remain competitive in the pool of mates, they must respond to these desires.

On the other hand, when people live within environments that encompass little stress and threats to the viability of offspring, the need for serious and committed relations is lowered and therefore promiscuity and infidelity are more common.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.It is more common for men compared to women to engage in extradyadic relationships.The National Health and Social Life Survey found that 4% of married men, 16% of cohabiting men, and 37% of dating men engaged in acts of sexual infidelity compared to 1% of married women, 8% of cohabiting women, and 17% of women in dating relationships.

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