Among the list of reasons why infidelity occurs, researchers are taking a closer look at one in particular – how an inability to perform sexually impacts a partner’s choice to cheat.
Researchers from the University of Indiana explored potential causes or risks that may lead to sexual performance challenges in both males and females. The list included inability to maintain an erection, inability for a female to become aroused or perform, and early ejaculation. Performance anxiety is a common factor in each of these conditions, and may carry more weight than previously believed in terms of leading to infidelity.
Though both genders’ rates were similar, women showed a slightly higher likelihood for cheating on a partner when they had sexually dysfunctional performance, at a rate of eight percent. Men seemed more likely to seek outside relationships when they encountered performance anxiety at a rate of six percent, according to an article on 121doc.
Additionally, the increase in societal acceptance for casual sexual relationships, and the increasing availability of those relationships, may be another factor prompting higher levels of cheating. Researchers speculate that partners with sexual difficulties related to performance anxiety may feel less sexual performance stress when they are engaging in a relationship with someone new.
The findings could contribute to ongoing research about sexual addiction, because one way sexual addiction is demonstrated is multiple sexual encounters with different partners. Experts believe many people with sexual addictions also have deep-seated intimacy problems, which can also be connected with sexual performance problems.
Other factors related to sexual arousal and performance and infidelity were explored in the study. Men who have a quick rate of sexual arousal also seemed more likely to engage in a relationship outside of their commitment.