KATHMANDU — Elder people are more likely than younger generations to engage in extramarital sex, a new study has revealed.
For their study, researchers at the University of Utah looked at data from the General Social Survey, which is administered by the University of Chicago and contains demographic data on Americans going back to 1972.
According to the study, published by the Institute for Family Studies, 20 percent of married Americans, aged over 55, admit to extramarital sex, compared to just 14 pc of those under 55, reports the Independent.
At the same time, the rate of extramarital sex amongst 18-55-year-old married couples has declined, showing a divergence.
While the researchers found that the overall rate of individuals having sex outside of marriage has stayed stable at 16 percent over the past three decades, the age demographics most involved in affairs has shifted since the beginning of the millennium.
The researchers speculate that the shattering of sexual norms during that era, accompanied by the generation’s propensity for many partners, may have contributed to the lax attitude of many older Americans.
It’s easy to assume that this is simply because older people are likely to have been married longer and have thus had more time to cheat — the majority were married between 20 and 30 years — but the study reveals that instances of adultery in older marriages have soared since 2000.
There’s also the possibility that the findings reflect a rise in polyamory or “ethical non-monogamy” i.e. having sex with other people with your partner’s consent.
The research, titled ‘America’s New Generation Gap in Extramarital Sex, was led by Nicholas H. Wolfinger, a professor in the University of Utah’s Department of Family and Consumer Studies.
“No matter how many polyamorists there are today, old-fashioned adultery seems to have risen among older Americans,” Wolfinger says.
The researchers were careful to not equate extramarital sex with adultery, as one can be in a polyamorous marriage, or one in which their spouse expressly approves them seeing other partners.Follow @gorkhapost