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Cheating. Have you ever done it? What about your partner? Of course not. They’d never do that to you would they. Yet what if I told you about 37 per cent of the Australian population have done it at one time or another. Would you still be so confident in thinking that your partner has never ever sneaked off to do the dirty? Don’t think for a second that being male makes any difference to the heartbreak of cheating either. The gap is closing in and has been sitting at less than four percent.

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Where do these cheating stats come from?

Now you might be wondering where I’m getting these numbers. Well the Great Australian Sex Census is possibly the place to get stats on sexual behaviour in Australia. With over 17,000 Australian participants, the census collects data from a wide cross section of our public. Some have questioned the validity of responses. Apparently people aren’t very honest about their sex lives. Hmmm, who would of thought? I reckon though if it’s good enough for most of the top news publications in Australia, it’s probably as reputable a sex survey as we’re ever going to get.

The reasons behind cheating

So why do people cheat? Most men’s and women’s motivations are fairly similar. A recent study by a team of geneticists and neuroscientists examined the possibility that genes may have something to do with it. They concluded that genes could account for about 62 per cent of cheating behaviour in men and 40 per cent in women. Therefore, one reason for cheating maybe genetic or passed down through observed behaviour within a family.

Engaging in sexual activity they won’t ask their partner to perform is another one. Desire or to be desired, the thrill of the chase, excitement of a new lover, wanting variety or a shift in their intimate relationship are some more. Plus we can’t rule out the revenge bonk. People discover their partner’s are cheating on them and can’t resist.

The greatest discrepancy lies in the physical desire of men verses the emotional desire in women. Plus cheating men are often satisfied with their relationships but women generally aren’t. These are fairly similar to views on infidelity.

Getting upset about cheating

According to researchers, heterosexual males are primarily concerned about the sex. This might have something to do with feeling possessive of their partner or having doubts about who’s really fathered their children. Women and people of bi or homosexual orientation are more concerned about the emotional attachment their partner might experience. They view infidelity as the ultimate emotional betrayal whereas men see the betrayal as mostly physical.

Tips to spot a cheat

While people are unique, there are some general tell-tale signs that a partner maybe cheating. Men should look at changing patterns in their partners confidence, appearance, happiness and contentment. If they don’t have any explanation like loosing weight, career progression or improved satisfaction in their relationship something could be up.

Ladies – if your man suddenly regains his libido for no viable reason after a dry spell, he could be beginning an affair. Men generally aren’t dissatisfied with their relationship, so he may try to reignite the passion there. It’s only when the affair progresses that men are likely to withdraw.

Cheating trends

Looking at the 2013-14 Great Australian Sex Census, it appears that around 30 per cent of cheaters get caught. So basically that’s a majority. Men seem slightly more susceptible to getting sprung though. Alternately females are more likely to be forgiven. It also looks like the cheating trend is declining. In the previous census (2011-12) cheating rates were roughly 45 out of every 100 people. However the margin between male and female cheaters has remained stable.

So what does this tell us? It seems the battle of the sexes is far from dead. While the cheating rates are almost equal, men are more likely to get caught but not forgiven. Women on the other hand seem to be getting off  lightly (pardon the pun). Not only do they get caught less but when they do there’s a greater chance the relationship might survive. Hmm, it just doesn’t seem quite fair does it? Then again I am talking about cheating. Fair really doesn’t enter the equation does it.

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