The Socio-Demography of Extramarital Sex in the United States

Yanyi K. Djamba, Auburn University

Extramarital affairs can have devastating impacts on spouses and families. As a result, several theories have been proposed to explain this behavior, but we know little how socio-demographic characteristics affect extramarital sexual activity. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it examines historical trends in racial and gender differences in extramarital affairs to determine whether there is a convergence or divergence of behavior. Second, it analyzes the changing impacts of socio-demographic variables on extramarital sex. The analysis is based on the data from the General Social Survey for the period of 1991-2010. The results show that black men and black women have higher probabilities of extramarital sex as compared to their white counterparts. However, this racial difference becomes insignificant in most periods when socio-demographic variables are included in logistic regression models. These results will be used to construct socio-demographic profiles of men and women who are likely to cheat.

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Presented in Poster Session 9