Sex Ed

Infographic: Why Infidelity is a High Risk Sexual Behavior

August 3, 2016 by Justin Lehmiller

Most people think of cheating as a risky behavior–risky in the sense that, if discovered, it could potentially lead to hurt feelings, severe conflict, and maybe even breakup. However, infidelity doesn’t just put the health of a relationship at risk. Research has found that it also puts the physical health of everyone involved at risk because, when people cheat, they don’t appear to be particularly likely to practice safe sex. Check out the infographic below for a look at the data.

These findings beg the important question of why cheaters don’t practice safe sex more often. We can’t say for sure, but one possibility is that cheating tends to be a spontaneous, unplanned behavior and, as such, perhaps people just aren’t prepared for safe sex when they commit infidelity. However, another possibility is that cheaters may incorrectly think of themselves as being “safe” because they’ve been in a monogamous relationship and, therefore, that they don’t need to practice safe sex.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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