Why People Cheat: Explainations from Different Fields

Modern day love relationships are portrayed as more secular in nature. All adult men and women have freedom to choose partners for marriage. No more the consent of parents or elderly people of the town makes any difference in our decisions.We are in full bloom to go through as many mates as possible until we find the right person to settle with. This is often frowned upon and tagged as the distorted version of a good fairy tale. Truth to be told, we are more conservative about relationships than our ancestors. Few centuries ago, in many countries, men could openly keep multiple wives and mistresses. In today’s time, this arrangement still exists but in lower rate. Polygamous mentality is something we hardly accept. Anyone carrying it is now known as cheater, the bad apple we feel more comfortable to toss aside. We want those who can love us monogamously. That is the essence of true love in our mind for which we now do not hesitate to wonder as to why people cheat. Experts from several fields have tried to find the true reasons utilizing research and studies. Here we take a look them:


One study done in Bar Ilan University, Israel reveals that people who have less amount of Oxytocin hormone are more likely to break up or dissolve relationships numerous times. In US, this has been linked to cheating. Another study done at University of New York shows that variance in a gene called Dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) is responsible for causing some people to have a need for risky adventures including cheating in relationships. These people tend to be more outgoing and sometimes fall prey to gambling or alcohol addictions. The research team, however, stretches that whether these people will cheat will largely depend on their surroundings. 


Psychologists have multiple explanations for the question of why people cheat. But one that has always stood out is John Lee’s Ludus love style.  According to Lee, people with this love style prefer multiple lovers over quality of love. Conquest is their ultimate game and they have fear towards commitment. Break up for them is a piece of cake, for they can get over ex’s too quickly.  Other researchers conclude that Ludus love style makes its bearer manipulative, forceful and more action oriented than thoughtful. 

For many years, psychologists saw avoidant attachment factor as one of the components of unfaithfulness without any proof from scientific research. To know if their presumption was correct, a PhD student named Geneviève Beaulieu-Pelletier from University of Montreal conducted four studies studies on people of different age groups. The results received from the first two studies helped her conclude that psychologists were correct.  Through the last two studies, she embarked on finding what truly caused these specific types of people to cheat. The answer turned out to be an urge to get away from the partners. The research also debunked the myth that men cheat more than the women. Both the groups connected to avoidant attachment have the urge in equal level.  


Sociologists too have tried to find out the element that causes people to cheat. One paper titled as “The Effect of Relative Income Disparity of Infidelity for Men and Women” written by researcher and PhD candidate Christine Munsch states that men economically relying on their wives or girlfriends are more inclined to cheat. Still do not think that it is the unemployment that causes it. According to the paper, men who make lesser than their partners can also resort to cheating.  
Similarly, those who make higher income can also give into infidelity. The reasons behind this are tours and spending more time at work. Just think about Enron CEO’s. They entertained their clients at stripper clubs. One of the CEO’s even left his wife for a stripper. By the way, according to Munsch’s paper, women who rely largely on their partners economically are less prone to cheat.


Astrologers for long have also studied cheating. In general, astrology teaches us to not believe that simply a sun sign can be responsible for such a crime, for a personality is shaped up by a vast number of planetary influences. However, Ashley Madison, a dating site made for people seeking extra marital affairs, revealed amazing data from their system which proved that sun signs do have certain amount of influence in cheating behavior. According to them, Pisces men topped their cheating chart and second position went to Aquarius men. Among female signs, Gemini became number one and Aries captured the second position. This certainly is too general to capture the interest of astrologers. How we view relationships is the work of our moon, Venus, Mars, Neptune, houses and aspects. A site called Cosmitec has devoted two of their pages (separately for males and females) to lists of astrological cheating factors. According to it, usually the Venus and Neptune are always responsible for one to stray. Other positions matter too and they provide all of them on the pages. For males, go to this page and for females, go here
All of the fields we have looked into today always warn us that their research on cheating is never-ending. Human mind is very complicated and how it takes decisions still remains an enigma.  Interestingly, all of them do agree that cheating needs environment for it to blossom fully. No gene can simply take action without it.  

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