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Vox Day’s Marital Fidelity Survey

The results of it were a little surprising. I’ll let Vox’s words speak for themselves and leave it to the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.

There were 232 male and 59 female responses that were usable. I had to throw out a few that didn’t provide meaningful responses, such as those that answered “N” for a question concerning which the possible answers ranged from A to E. I also omitted the responses of a few polyamorous snowflakes; since the objective is to examine normal human fidelity the behavior of those who define the concept differently is of neither interest nor use.

Women

32% never married. 8% reported their own marital infidelity, 14% reported marital infidelity on their husband or ex-husband’s part. 31% of all women, married and unmarried, reported cheating on one or more pre-marital boyfriends. Of those who were unfaithful in marriage, 100% cheated on other boyfriends who were not their eventual husbands.

Female sexual infidelity rose considerably with increased sexual experience. None of the married women with 1-3 partners reported cheating, 20% with 4-9 partners did, as did 43% of women with 10+ partners. (There was an insufficient number of married women in category E, reporting 20+ partners, to be meaningful, so I included them with category D here.) There was no discernible pattern relating female sexual experience to male infidelity.

Men

24% never married. 15% reported their own marital infidelity, 24% reported marital infidelity on their wife or ex-wife’s part. 28% of all men, married and unmarried, reported cheating on one or more pre-marital girlfriends. Of those who were unfaithful in marriage, 65% cheated on other girlfriends they did not eventually marry.

The risk of both marital cheating and marital betrayal rose with male sexual experience. 3% of the men with 1-3 partners reported cheating and 14% reported betrayal, 12% of the men with 4-9 partners reported cheating and 30% reported betrayal, 28% of the men with 10-19 partners reported cheating and 31% reported betrayal, and 43% of the men with 20+ partners reported both cheating and betrayal.

The risk of divorce also rose with male sexual experience, although less smoothly. Whereas only 6% of the men with between 1-9 partners were divorced, 13% of the men with 10-19 partners and 35% of the men with 20+ partners were divorced.

Now, there superficially appears to be somewhat of a chicken-or-the-egg problem here, as one could argue that divorce and female infidelity precedes promiscuous male behavior. But the reports of premarital behavior tends to preclude this possibility, because men with 1-3 partners average one-half the number of serious premarital girlfriends and one-twentieth the number of betrayed premarital girlfriends as those with 10+ partners.

Conclusions

Infidelity is neither as rampant as is commonly assumed nor does it lead to divorce in the majority of cases. More of the men here than the women have experienced marital infidelity, nearly one quarter, which is unsurprising given a betrayed man will tend to be more inclined to swallow the red pill of Game. Both male and female cheaters tend to marry cheaters, but there is a surprising amount of premarital infidelity even among the relatively inexperienced. However, that premarital infidelity is less likely to translate into subsequent marital infidelity.

I was also surprised to see that the more sexually alpha a man is, the more likely it is that he will be betrayed by his wife. This is directly contra conventional Game theory, although both Athol and Roissy have theorized that while most women seek ALPHA, those with a surfeit of it may develop a craving for BETA. Alternatively, it could simply be a tit-for-tat reaction to habitual Alpha infidelity, or it could be the explanation towards which I incline, which is that because ALPHAS will tolerate higher Ns than lower rank men, they will tend to marry higher rank, higher N women who not only possess a greater proclivity to stray, but are subject to more frequent and determined attempts to seduce them. Of course, it could simply be a combination of all three of these factors.

I also noticed that female infidelity was somewhat more predictable than male infidelity, which is to say that her premarital behavior tends to be more in line with her marital behavior. Men tended to show more variability, as unlike women, there were men who were unfaithful in marriage who had never been unfaithful before marriage. This may or may not be because women with high N are less likely to marry than their male counterparts; only 43% of women in the N=20+ category had ever married versus 64% of men.

5 thoughts on “Vox Day’s Marital Fidelity Survey

  • Amir says:

    I did find this insight interesting: “Of those who were unfaithful in marriage, 100% cheated on other boyfriends who were not their eventual husbands.”

    This tends to tell me that, while a gal’s premarital infidelity does not guarantee eventual marital infidelity, it would be fair to suggest that it is VERY LOW PERCENTAGE BEHAVIOR.

    So, from a rational standpoint, if she has ever cheated on a boyfriend, that should be a VERY BRIGHT RED FLAG.

    Oh, and it’s not much better for the men: “The risk of divorce also rose with male sexual experience, although less smoothly. Whereas only 6% of the men with between 1-9 partners were divorced, 13% of the men with 10-19 partners and 35% of the men with 20+ partners were divorced.”

    As Susan Walsh has pointed out, male premarital sexual experience is detrimental to marriages, too. And Vox has confirmed that with his smaller-scale survey.

    This is not to beat anyone up here; what I AM saying is that these factors represent baggage the unpacking of which before marriage is within the best interests of the parties involved.

  • Smithborough says:

    Another amusing feature of this survey is the mental contortions some of Vox’s commentators have gone into over the Alpha being more likely to be cheated on by his wife. (The Alpha must notice it more, etc.) It kinda takes the shine off all the game stuff if you find out that being a boring beta, while it won’t get you laid as much might also protect you to some extent from the sort of woman who would cuckold you…

  • Amir says:

    @Smithborough
    Yep.

    The danger that the Alpha faces: he’s going to attract a VERY LARGE SECTOR of the women, including the most outwardly attractive ones. Why is that a problem? That sector is going to include all types of characters.

    As a general rule, Looks != character.

    A lot of men–not just Alphas–are more likely to give the hot babe a pass or two in the character department. (The women will do the same thing for the Alpha.)

    However, there is a turd in that punchbowl: The Law of Sowing and Reaping.

    It shall not be up for repeal in the foreseeable future.

  • Professor Hale says:

    So, from a rational standpoint, if she has ever cheated on a boyfriend, that should be a VERY BRIGHT RED FLAG.

    For it to qualify as a red flag, it must be visible from a distance. If the GF does not volunteer that information, you don’t have the benefit of this information. If she does volunteer that information, it is assumed that she understands the implications of her answer and will lie to provide the answer that best suits her needs.

    Or as the Fonz would say, “virgins don’t lie”.

  • Amir says:

    @Professor Hale
    A lot of times, if the gal has cheated, the word will get around. She may not volunteer that information, but word will get around. After all, people do talk.

    OTOH, if you are in a distance relationship, that information will be tougher to discern.

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