This was published in 2018 in the Journal of Sex Research

Jase: I did bring it up a little bit in the comments section when we took a little break, but that wasn’t the core focus of it, so I didn’t want to completely derail it for that, but yes, I did try to bring it up to be like, Hey, I’m having a problem with some of the ways you’re talking about gender here.

Dedeker: The researchers were curious to understand if there’s a relationship between engaging in infidelity and the development of adulthood

Emily: Yes. Well, all right. I think the question is, why do people cheat? Because I think many of us have been in a situation where this comes up or we’re around people who have cheated. It is prevalent in our society. We wanted to look at some reasons why people cheat and then also are the reasons why non monogamous people cheat similar to those in traditional relationships?

Just a little side note, we did an episode not too long ago on identity and relationships which was episode 330, and there’s an article that provides an interesting tie-in to some of the themes that we discuss on that episode and then additionally, the study and this article that we’re about to talk about, there were a bunch of questions and discussions and theories posed regarding attachment styles. We’ve talked about that a lot, most recently with Jessica Fern, the author of Polysecure on episode 291. You can go back and listen to those if you want to dive deeper into those specific subjects but right now, we’re going to talk about something from betrayals in emerging adulthood, a developmental perspective of infidelity.

Jase: Yes. This is a team of psychologists at the University of Tennessee. Did a mixed method study, examining both written narrative, as well as survey responses of 104 „emerging adults”, which is something about that euphemism like–

Emily: We talked about that in identity a little bit, I believe. Yes, they’re essentially in range where they are labeled as emerging adults where they’re a little bit out of teen-hood but not quite into super adulthood.

Dedeker: Like emerging out of the cocoon with your little wet wrinkly wings that you got to move around and wiggle and get all dry, so then you’re in actual adult.

Jase: Anyway, I just think that’s a very funny euphemism for that age range, but anyway, this was 104 emerging adults, both narrative, meaning they’re writing out responses as well as survey responses which are beste datingside Frence more of checking a box and 59.6, very precise number, roughly 60% of the participants were women, the average age of participants was 22.1.

A lot of people enter into non-monogamy from an infidelity that happens in their relationship and then they decide, okay, we’re going to open it up

Jase: The majority of the respondents were White heterosexual and the participants were gathered through Mechanical Turk, which is a service you can use to get responses to surveys and things like that. The advantage of doing that though compared to the usual college study is that you’re not just studying undergraduates at year one university, you are getting a little bit of a wider sample although, as we saw here, still White and heterosexual and that in this case they defined infidelity as both sexual and emotional infidelity.

As in, how is cheating related to formation of one’s identity or what developmental needs are met by engaging in infidelity? Now, it is just wild to me that you thought of that question in the first place. It’s a good question. It’s a good premise for a study. I would be curious to actually read the study text and read their little preamble to get a sense of what even got you there because that’s a really interesting question.