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This Is the Age When Women Are Most Likely to Cheat

It's probably not when you think it is.

We all know that men and women cheat for different reasons. Though men are more likely to cheat because they feel threatened, women are more likely to do it because they feel neglected or ignored by their partner. And while it's true that men still cheat more than women, the ladies aren't too far behind (according to recent statistics, 20% of men and 13% of women reported that they've had sex with someone other than their spouse while married).

Because men and women are motivated to commit adultery for different reasons, it makes sense that the age at which they're most likely to do it differs as well. A 2008 University of New Hampshire study that cited 55 as the age when men reach "peak infidelity" noted that both men and women tend to make a cost-benefit analysis when evaluating whether or not to cheat on their spouse, but they do so differently.

"According to the researchers, the behavior of men and women toward infidelity differs substantially, as men and women respond differently to the perceived costs and benefits of an affair," the university newsletter for the study reads. "For women, biological and socioeconomic factors—men who are good candidates to father a child and who have the education and financial stability to provide for a family—are significant factors women consider when deciding to have an affair. These factors do not come into play for men who, overall, are 7 percent more likely to cheat than women."

From the perspective of evolutionary science, men and women are driven to have sex by the primal need to reproduce. Which means that it would make sense that the age a woman is most likely to cheat—45—is lower than a man's, the interpretation being that a woman reaches "peak infidelity" when her body realizes it's her last chance to have a child.

To find out what other bodily milestones you can expect, check out 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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