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Podcast: 18: The Biology of Affairs

“We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love – first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage.” Albert Camus

Most people who have affairs will say that they don’t know how it happened. Extramarital affairs are rarely consciously planned; they happen as life often does, with one thing leading to another. Evolutionary psychologists, in attempts to understand human behavior as prevalent as infidelity, have found some interesting patterns that suggest that our biology might again be the leader in our life choices.

The percentage of people impacted by infidelity is between 30-60% of all married couples, depending on the study cited. More interesting than the differing rates of occurrence for men and women are the different patterns of infidelity for each gender.

Cheating men are more likely than cheating women to have an affair with someone younger than their spouse. On the other hand, cheating women are more likely than cheating men to have an affair with someone better educated than their current spouse.