Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Paychecks and Adultery

A new study shows that men are far more likely to cheat on women who make more than they do.

Men who are completely economically dependent on their female partners are five times more likely to cheat than men in relationships with women who earned similar amounts, according to the the study's author, Christin Munsch, a sociology Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University.

Women making more money than men may threaten the male's traditional view of being the breadwinner, says Munsch.

But tipping the financial scales too far in the other direction doesn't make men more likely to be faithful.

A man who makes significantly more money than his girlfriend or wife is also more likely to cheat because the job or position he works may require long work hours and travel. Those factors could create an easier environment for cheating, the study suggests.

So what financial situation would make men more likely to be faithful?

Men in relationships with women who made about 75 percent of the men's income were the least likely to cheat, said the study, which was released at the American Sociological Association's 105th annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

The study, "The Effect of Relative Income Disparity on Infidelity for Men and Women," examined married and cohabitating people between the ages of 18 and 28, who were in the relationship for more than a year. The study uses data from the 2002 through 2007 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.

Read more here.


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