The Anatomy of a Cheater

Is there a way to identify a cheater from a non-cheater?

While infidelity is ultimately a choice and not something someone is predisposed to, there are traits that are more common among those who use Ashley Madison, and these common traits may reveal who are the would-be cheaters.

After surveying more than 21,400 of our members, we’ve been able to identify what the modern cheater looks like and some of the similar behaviors and beliefs amongst them.

Traits of a Cheater

We examined both male and female member data and while there are some differences we found that there are trends that apply to both genders.

Birth Order & Siblings

People with siblings have been reported to express unique personality types based on their birth order. But contrary to the popular belief that the youngest is the most rebellious[1], it’s actually the older sibling that is most likely to cheat, as 43% of survey respondents say they are the oldest of their siblings. On the other hand, the least likely to cheat isn’t the youngest, it’s the middle child with 32% of the responses giving a new meaning to ‘middle child syndrome’.[2]

When asked how many siblings they have, the most common response from cheaters was that they have 2 siblings, at 31% of respondents.[3] Other data shows that it’s the oldest child that is the most likely to cheat.

“The oldest sibling is notably known for being a leader and having a competitive nature,” says Isabella Mise, Director of Communications for Ashley Madison. “It may be that assertive personality that leads them to ultimately take control of their sex life and get their needs met.”

Zodiac Signs

When it comes to cheating, Capricorns, those born between December 21 and January 19, are the most common on Ashley Madison. Interestingly, we’ve seen an 8.1% increase in new signups on the website between December and January[4] over the past five years perhaps signalling that Capricorns are taking advantage of the new year timeframe and their birthday milestone to explore new ways of finding fulfilment.

Pets

Speaking of fulfilment, cheaters might be looking to their pets to fulfil what they’re missing, in terms of loyalty. Dogs are known for their loyalty, and more than two-thirds (68%) say they have a dog.[5] Which is ironic that a cheater chooses a dog given their disloyal behavior to their spouse.

Politics

Cheaters do however remain loyal to their political party. When looking at their political beliefs, we see that 60% are Republican,[6] and when they cheat, they prefer to keep it in-house as 55% say they would prefer to have an affair with a Republican. While Republicans tend to be conservative in nature, maybe it’s the Republican mentality that leads them to infidelity. A mentality supporting individual choice and a commitment to liberty.

Education

We examined the education levels of our members, and for those who responded 3% have a PhD.[7] This is significant because only 0.7%[8] of the population have a PhD, proving that in terms of a community, cheaters are more educated.[9] Even compared to their spouse, 53% say they have a higher education.[10] Does that mean it takes a more educated mind to elaborately navigate the waters of infidelity? According to some external data published in Time Magazine, between spouses, the highest drop in sexual frequency has been among married people with higher education. So, potentially the more educated can navigate an affair more discreetly, but it’s also the highly educated that are seemingly having less sex with their spouse, and therefore, for our members, looking elsewhere.

Habits

  • More than half (56%) of cheaters communicate with their affair partner on their personal cellphone.[11]
  • And they do so at night around 10 p.m.[12]
  • For 31% of cheaters, Starbucks is their preferred choice of coffee.[13]
  • Starbucks is also the coffee shop that 31% of cheaters like to meet their affair partner at.[14]
  • The British accent for 18%[15] that is the most attractive.

What Cheaters Want

When asked what traits are most attractive, 20% say they are attracted to humor, and 17% say they are attracted to passion.[16] But what about traits like edginess, or willingness to take risks? When asked 75% of cheaters do not have a tattoo, however, 59% say they are more attracted to someone who does.[17]

“According to this survey, the personality traits that people associate with tattoos are attractive qualities when seeking an affair partner,” says Dr. Tammy Nelson, sex and relationship therapist and author of The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity. “So, it may not be the tattoo itself that stimulates the attraction, rather that it signals the potential for greater excitement that people aren’t feeling in their marriage.”

But the most common rationale for cheating is sex, and that’s exactly what 61% of cheaters say is the main reason they cheat.[18]

 

Related: AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT WHY PEOPLE CHEAT

 

What Cheaters Don’t Want

We know that there are certain traits that turn people off, maybe not from infidelity but definitely from the prospect of cheating with someone specific. There are certain turn-offs that will send affair seekers running in the opposite direction. For both men and women, bad teeth and smoking top the list of most popular dating deal breakers.

Top 5 deal breakers for women[19]

Bad teeth – 24%

Smoking – 23%

Drinking too much/ too often – 11%

Low sex-drive – 9%

Not responding to messages/communication – 7%

 

Top 5 deal breakers for men[20]

Smoking – 24%

Bad teeth – 12%

Low sex-drive – 10%

Being too clingy – 9%

Drinking too much/ too often – 8%

 

The Female Cheater

For women, there are lots of studies and published articles out there that prove women are actually cheating just as much if not more than men. The rate of married women who report they’ve been unfaithful has increased by 40% since 1990, while the rate among men has remained the same. As a matter of fact, we had a “Big Four” auditing firm look at our 2017 member statistics, and they found that there are actually more women than men on Ashley Madison, with a gender ratio of 1.13 active females to every 1 paid active male.

 

Related: ASHLEY MADISON RETURNS TO GROWTH

 

So, what does the female cheater look like? Who is she? We’ve found, that 48% have brown hair, and 45% have brown eyes.[21] More than half (59%) are between 5.0 ft. and 5.5 ft. tall, with 38% considering their body type to be “curvy”.[22] When asked about their family, 43% say they have kids, of which 71% say they have two kids.[23] And their day-to-day, well when they aren’t out there potentially saving their marriage, by straying to stay, they’re out there saving lives as 23% (the most common choice) work in the medical field[24].

 

 

Related: WOMEN ARE HAPPIER IN AFFAIRS, STUDY SAYS

 

The Male Cheater

According to our data, the most chosen features that male cheaters have are brown hair (38%) and have brown eyes (35%).[25] More than half (55%) say they are cleanly shaven.[26] And in terms of body type, 71% are between 5.6 ft. and 6.0 ft., with 40% admitting that they are slightly overweight.[27] When it comes to a family, 75% say they have kids with 46% of them saying they have two kids.[28]

 

For work, the most chosen career amongst the male members of Ashley Madison is a career in the trades (29%.)[29] Typically, a career in the trades consists of long hours, often on the go from job site to job site, allowing the ability for one to incorporate some secretive personal travel, some time to cheat.

 

 

Walking down the street you likely won’t be able to pinpoint a cheater, but you can have a better understanding based on our membership as to what some physical and personality traits are for those who stray.

 

 

– AshleyMadison.com is the original married dating destination. With more than 54 million member accounts worldwide since 2002, Ashley Madison is the premier destination for polyamory,  open relationships, and surviving a sexless marriage.

 

[1] http://bit.ly/2J1lbNK

[2] Survey of 1,313 members of Ashley Madison between March 26, 2018 and March April 2, 2018

[3] Survey of 1,000 members of Ashley Madison between March 26, 2018 and March 27, 2018

[4] Percentage based on the average increase in signups between December and January between 2012 and 2017

[5] Survey of 1,165 members of Ashley Madison between April 25th, 2018 and May 10th, 2018

[6] Survey of 3,211 members of Ashley Madison between February 15, 2018 to February 27, 2018

[7] Survey of 1,556 members of Ashley Madison between August 11, 2017- August 17, 2017.

[8] http://data.uis.unesco.org/

[9] Survey of 1,556 members of Ashley Madison between August 11, 2017- August 17, 2017.

[10] Survey of 1,556 members of Ashley Madison between August 11, 2017- August 17, 2017.

[11] Survey of 1,448 members above the age of 60 from October 4, 2017- October 13, 2017.

[12] Based on messages sent on Ashley Madison between January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017.

[13] Survey of 2,300 members of Ashley Madison between August 28, 2017- August 29, 2017.

[14] Survey of 2,300 members of Ashley Madison between August 28, 2017- August 29, 2017.

[15] Survey of 1,765 members of Ashley Madison between February 26, 2018 to March 7, 2018

[16] Survey of 1,010 members of Ashley Madison between March 30, 2018 and April 4, 2018

[17] Survey of 3,428 members of Ashley Madison between June 28, 2018 and July 4, 2018

[18] Survey of 2,018 members of Ashley Madison between January 19,2018 to January 25, 2018

[19] Survey of 1,010 members of Ashley Madison between March 30, 2018 and April 4, 2018

[20] Survey of 1,010 members of Ashley Madison between March 30, 2018 and April 4, 2018

[21] Survey of 1,475 members of Ashley Madison between Aug 14, 2017 and August 15, 2017

[22] Survey of 1,475 members of Ashley Madison between Aug 14, 2017 and August 15, 2017

[23] Survey of 1,475 members of Ashley Madison between Aug 14, 2017 and August 15, 2017

[24] Survey of 1,074 members of Ashley Madison between February 20, 2018 to February 23, 2018

[25] Survey of 1,074 members of Ashley Madison between February 20, 2018 to February 23, 2018

[26] Survey of 1,074 members of Ashley Madison between February 20, 2018 to February 23, 2018

[27] Survey of 1,074 members of Ashley Madison between February 20, 2018 to February 23, 2018

[28] Survey of 1,074 members of Ashley Madison between February 20, 2018 to February 23, 2018

[29] Survey of 1,074 members of Ashley Madison between February 20, 2018 to February 23, 2018

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