You may have heard about the saying, “once a cheater, always a cheater” many times. Those who have been unfaithful to their partners will likely do it again and it turns out that science may have proven that this is true.
Whether you believe in the saying or not, a new study found in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggests that there is truth to that long-held belief. People may have different opinions on what consists cheating but in the study, researchers took into account what is called “extra-dyadic sexual involvement” (ESI), or simply a person who engages in sexual relations with someone besides the partner or spouse.
Scientists sought insight on whether or not past cheaters will more likely be unfaithful the next time.
To arrive at their findings, scientists followed 484 unmarried individuals who had been in a relationship with someone at least twice within five years. Participants were limited to those who had been in a relationship with the opposite sex. Scientists hope to study same-sex relationships in the future.
The participants had to complete surveys every four to six months for five years.
The surveys were sent by mail and contained questions, like, “Have you had sexual relations with someone other than your partner since you began seriously dating?”
The study found that those who had cheated in the past were three times as likely to indicate infidelity the next time. At the same time, partners who have been cheated on were more likely to know that their subsequent partners were unfaithful.
In a similar study found in Nature, scientists claimed that a person would less likely feel guilty after having lied about cheating in the past.
When a person cheats on someone, the amygdala is activated to feel shame or guilt.
In a person who has been dishonest, the amygdala’s response weakens. For serial cheaters, they may have felt bad at the first time they cheated. But because they’ve done it so much, the brain got used to it that they would no longer feel as bad as the first time.
What do you think of the study? Let us know in the comments section below.
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