This Is the Age When Men Are Most Likely to Cheat

Older guys are more likely to stray.

When it comes to cheating, you may think that men would be most likely to do it in their early 20s, when they are at their most virile and they've got all sorts of crazy hormones bouncing around. Indeed, pop culture abounds with movies and TV shows about horny college guys, desperate to have sex with as many women as possible, regardless of whether or not they have a girlfriend.

But, according to science, it's older men who have a greater tendency to stray. According to data from the recent General Social Survey (GSS), 20% of men and 13% of women reported that they've had sex with someone other than their spouse while married, and while women seem to be most likely to cheat in their early 20s, a man's infidelity risk actually increases with age.

One fascinating 2014 study that looked into the activity of people on Ashley Madison found that men were more likely to look for an extramarital affair if they were about to hit a big milestone birthday, like 50 or 60.

But if we had to boil it down to one specific number, it would have to 55. According to an oft-quoted study by the University of New Hampshire, this is when men reach "peak infidelity." Since so much of why men cheat, according to science, has to do with feeling like their masculinity is being threatened, it would make sense that this would be the age at which they're most at risk of committing adultery. When a man is fifty-five, he's standing on the cusp of his grandpa years, so he might see it as his last opportunity to "graze in greener pastures" before he's officially over the hill.

To see how things fare with the other sex, check out the age when women are most likely to cheat. And for more on when to expect certain bodily milestones, read These Are the 20 Most Important Ages of Your Life.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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