Infidelity is a sad, yet common part of life, but one survey suggests some after-work activities are more likely to be used as a cover for an affair than others. For example, the survey found men who play team sports, as opposed to solo sports, are more likely to use this excuse. Now, that’s not saying that a swimmer or runner won’t cheat, but rather that they’ll have to think of a different reason to slip out late on a Friday night.
The survey, conducted by golfsupport.com, interviewed 1,750 men and found that those who play team sports are most likely to use practice and games as an excuse to hide an affair, with rugby players most guilty of this lie. Those who play golf and soccer also admitted to using their sport as an affair cover quite often, The Independent reported.
The study raises the question: Are men who play sports more likely to have an affair than those who don’t? Newspaper headlines show that the infidelities of Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant are nearly more famous than their athletic careers. Science suggests a thin, yet viable explanation for cheating among athletes.
For example, the hormone testosterone is associated with increased sex drive. Working out increased the amount of testosterone in men, which could lead to them wanting more sex than the average man. Still, why look outside the marital bed? This could be a result of the peer pressure from teammates and the need to prove themselves in a group of men, The Independent reported. Then again, the study was conducted by a company that sells golf equipment, and not a major university, so you may want to take the findings with a grain of salt.
It’s likely that each act of unfaithfulness is driven by different motivations. One study suggested that one's genetics may even play a role in their fidelity. According to ASAPScience, nearly half of individuals who possess a specific long allele variant of the dopamine receptor, a hormone associated with love and closeness, have admitted to cheating at some point in their lives. On the other hand, only 22 percent of individuals with the short version of this allele admitted to cheating. The gene for long allele variant of the dopamine receptor is also associated with increased likeliness of engaging in risky behavior and suffering from substance abuse, two other characteristics often associated with chronic cheaters.
Some cheaters are not repeat offenders but commit the act as a psychological coping mechanism. Jay Kent-Ferraro, a psychologist and author of the book Surprised by Love, suggested that some cheaters, who begin something known as a “poor strategy and bad intent affair,” look to the arms of another because they are unable to face or fix the extreme problems in their current relationship, Psychology Today reported. Other cheaters embark on “benevolent neglect affairs” as a result of sheer neglect from their partner or spouse.
On the other hand, some cheaters simply like the thrill of the cheat and have less regard how society suggests we should behave. For example, one study suggested that being a “world traveller” may expose you to different cultures, and skew your morality compass. As a result, you may be less conflicted by the idea of cheating on a partner.