January 13, 2009

Cheating and age

After noting below that female promiscuity peaks at 22, we predict that they're more likely to cheat than other age groups. The General Social Survey asks if people have ever cheated on their spouse. Looking at unmarried males and females by age, who I've pooled into 3-year age groups, here is the percent who have ever cheated:

If women had only one spouse during their lifetime, then the percent who have "ever" cheated cannot decrease with age. This question was asked from 1991 to 2006, so the ups and downs are probably not a cohort effect. My guess is that people simply don't recall every single time they've cheated over their lifetimes, and "ever cheated" to them means "have recently cheated." Or again, it could reflect women who are married a second time being more likely to cheat.

The two peaks for females are 21 - 23 and 45 - 47, while for males they are 21 - 23 and 57 - 59. This reflects the fact that when young, men and women are both horny and outgoing enough to cheat a lot, and that after young adulthood, men's value declines more slowly than women's -- allowing them to cheat for far longer.

Again we see that 22 year-old women are the least reliable among those who have any looks at all. The 18 - 20 year-olds, by contrast, are remarkably faithful. The ideal seems to be dating a girl who's 16 or 17, marrying her by 20, and getting her pregnant soon thereafter, so that she'll be too occupied with family life to run around in her early 20s.

GSS variables used: EVSTRAY, AGE, SEX, MARITAL


  1. You've written before that that's the mating plan you actually plan to use. But how do you plan to achieve that? What kind of parents would let you seriously date their 16yo daughter, and what kind of girl would be happy to start a domestic lifestyle at age 20? Maybe I just haven't been meeting the right people, but I would really like to know which populations would okay this. My guess is an imported bride from Valencia, since that seems to be your favorite? Or you moving there? What's the average age that women get married at there?

  2. That 45-47 peak is surprising. I can't imagine what their cheating pool is, except 'close' friends, since the age seems way off for bars or clubs, and even gym type cougars.

    But the peak seems very close to the onset of menopause. I wouldn't have thought the end of a woman's reproductive life-cycle would make them go on their second lifetime cock-sucking rampage!

    Forget unhappiness, crisis and cheating husbands, biological causes are an amazing thing.


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