Infographic: Infidelity by the Numbers

What percentage of men and women cheat? And why do they do it?

Given all the coverage we've given to Tiger Woods, it makes sense to take a step back and look at the broader trend of infidelity. And this infographic digs up all the relevant dirt. Obviously, cheating is pretty common: 20% of men, and 10% of women admit to an extramarital affair. And the reasons for cheating are about what common wisdom predicts: A plurality—40%—of women who cheat want more emotional attention. About 40% of men who cheat are looking for more sexual variety.

infidelity infographic

But let's bring it back to Tiger!

You'll notice that about 21% of men making less than $35,000 cheat, while 32% of men who make over $300,000 do. In other words, a roughly tenfold increase in income correlates with being 50% more likely to cheat on your wife. (An evolutionary biologist would tell you that men with less money don't cheat as much, because they have less options in finding mates.)

Given that Tiger Woods makes, oh, about 350 times your average bank exec, does that imply that his odds of cheating were approximately 99.99999%?

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  • Douglas Paul

    Well for the most part, there isn't any new or shocking information here but I do find it interesting that there is only a 11% difference between the number of rich people and the number of poorer people having affairs. I would have thought the difference would be higher given the much greater access, opportunity and secrecy available to the rich.

    Lastly, it's pretty sad that 40% of cheaters had an affair with a friend. Like the saying goes, "with friends like these, who needs enemies?"

  • Yoga Nandiwardhana

    LOL I live in Indonesia and I'm pretty sure no one's ever stoned to death here. It's the Islamic law, and even though we're the nation with the biggest muslim population, we don't uphold muslim law as the national law.