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The Cost Of Infidelity To Men


Married men are 7 percent more likely than married women to commit adultery. And, when a man has an affair, he doesn’t seem to consider the consequences of his actions. So says a study to be published in the fall, “So What Did You Do Last Night? The Economics of Infidelity.”

Infidelity for women peaks at 45, the study found. For men, it peaks at age 55.

Gee, what 55-year-old confessed adulterer has been in the news this week?

John Edwards, who claimed a week ago that he at least had been “99 percent honest” in his statements about the young filmmaker Reille Hunter.

“A wealthy, famous politician such as John Edwards is a man with plenty of opportunity, and it seems that he gave the costs of getting caught little consideration. That fits well with our findings,” Bruce Elmslie, an economics professor in the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire and a co-author of the study, told Firstwivesworld.

The study, co-written with Edinaldo Tebaldi, assistant professor of economics at Bryant University in Rhode Island, was based on data from the United States General Social Survey.

It is unusual in that it looks at infidelity from a cost-benefit analysis, rather than a sociological or psychological point of view.

Other points made in their study:

  1. Men who are more likely to commit adultery:

    • Live in cities (where there is greater opportunity to escape discovery)

    • Do not have a college degree

    • Do not belong to any particular socioeconomic group

  2. What men do not take into account when having an affair:

  • The economic status of the new woman, or her ability to bear children

  • Their wife’s educational level

  • Religion

"As with spousal education, men don't weigh the costs — spousal quality or eternal damnation — when deciding whether or not to have an affair," Elmslie said.

  1. Women who are more likely to commit adultery:

    • Live in cities (where there is greater opportunity to escape discovery)

    • Do not have a college education

    • Regularly skip church

    • Are upper class

  2. What women do take into account when having an affair:

    • Their husband’s educational achievement

    • If their new partner can father a child and provide financial stability

    • Religion

    These, of course, are statistical findings. And, sometimes the percentages are small.

    Elmslie told Firstwivesworld: “We have a hard time predicting which men are more likely to cheat based on their or their spouses characteristics.”

    What’s important about the study, however, is that “Men seem to respond to opportunity and not to our measures of cost.”

    In other words, to keep a husband faithful, it’s important to eliminate opportunities for him to stray.

    What we suggest you put a stop to: overnight business trips, and going on the campaign trail.

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