The sexual revolution notwithstanding, nearly all married couples are monogamous, two new sex surveys say. A University of Washington, Seattle, study in Octobers American Journal of Public Health found 94 percent of married couples had one partner in the previous year.
Likewise, a survey by the National Opinion Research Center in Chicago determined that only about 4 percent of married people had sexual partners other than their spouse during a one-year span. Overall, infidelity has been practiced by only 21 percent of men and 13 percent of women, according to the survey.
The studies dispute data by such investigators as the Kinsey Institute of Sex Research and author Shere Hite, who have suggested anywhere from one-third to three-fourths of married couples cheat on their mates.
“There probably are more scientifically worthless facts on extramarital relations than any other facet of human behavior,” says Tom W. Smith of the National Opinion Research Center. Smith says adultery is more prevalent among younger people, urban dwellers, the unchurched, and the previously divorced.