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Infidelity (synonyms include: cheating, adultery (when married), netorare (NTR), being unfaithful, or having an affair) is a violation of a couple's assumed or stated contract regarding emotional and/or sexual exclusivity.Other scholars define infidelity as a violation according to the subjective feeling that one's partner has violated a set of rules or relationship norms; this violation results in feelings of sexual jealousy and rivalry.In terms of infidelity, the theory states that when sex-ratios are high, men are more likely to be promiscuous and engage in sex outside of a committed relationship because the demand for men is higher and this type of behaviour, desired by men, is more accepted.On the other hand, when sex ratios are low, promiscuity is less common because women are in demand and since they desire monogamy and commitment, in order for men to remain competitive in the pool of mates, they must respond to these desires.For example, one study found that some women in more financially independent and higher positions of power, were also more likely to be more unfaithful to their partners.
Interviews with people in non-monogamous relationships since 1972 by the GSS have shown that approximately 12% of men and 7% of women admit to having had an extramarital relationship.
In one study, rates were higher in more recent marriages, compared with previous generations; men were found to be only "somewhat" more likely than women to engage in infidelity, with rates for both sexes becoming increasingly similar.
Another study found that the likelihood for women to be involved in infidelity reached a peak in the seventh year of their marriage and then declined afterwards; whereas for married men, the longer they were in relationships, the less likely they were to engage in infidelity, except for the eighteenth year of marriage, at which point the chance that men will engage in infidelity increases.
One measure of infidelity among couples is the frequency of children secretly conceived with a different partner, leading to "non-paternities".
Such covertly illegitimate children amount to about 1–2% of newborns in studied populations.