The relationship between infidelity and religion might seem obvious at first. Surely all religions view cheating and adultery as wrong, right? It turns out that there are some variations in rates of infidelity and religious infidelity. The research is limited, but non-academic surveys have found that Christian daters are more likely than their Jewish counterparts to be unfaithful.
Religion And Infidelity
The academic research into religion and cheating is minimal, but not non-existent. Researchers have found that having any kind of religious faith makes a person less likely to cheat on a partner. The more frequently a person attends services or the more dedicated a person is to religious beliefs, the less likely he or she is to cheat. It seems obvious that people with religious affiliations would be less likely to cheat. Clearly religious teachings say that adultery is wrong, and specifically for Christians, a sin. What about the differences between religions? Unfortunately, the academic evidence for any such differences is almost non-existent.
Religious Dating Sites And Cheating
One of the best sources for data on cheating has recently come from dating websites. A survey conducted by the sites Christian Mingle and JDate has given us a snapshot of what cheating is like among Jewish daters and Christian daters. From this information we can see how beliefs about infidelity vary by religion.
The survey, conducted in September 2013, included respondents between the ages of 18 and 59. All participants were single and dating or in a relationship of two years’ duration or less. The group of 2,647 respondents included men and women, all living in the U.S.
The survey asked participants a variety of questions related to modern dating, including questions about infidelity in relationships. The survey included both Christian and Jewish daters and the results give us a unique perspective on religion and infidelity. What stands out immediately is that Christian daters are more inclined to cheat. A whopping 84 percent of Jewish daters said they had never cheated on a partner. Only 66 percent of Christian daters could say the same.
Cheating No Longer A Deal-Breaker?
The survey highlighted other interesting points about infidelity, including the fact that it is not a deal-breaker in a relationship. One-quarter of singles responding said they would marry someone in spite of a history of cheating. Attitudes about what constitutes cheating have shifted. Compared to a previous survey, fewer people think sexting constitutes cheating.
Christian Daters Cheat More
The interesting religious finding regarding cheating in the dating survey cannot be explained definitively. However, the survey did find other interesting results that may point to clues. For instance, 53 percent of Jewish singles say that their mother is the biggest influence in choosing whom to marry. For Christians, only 36 percent rely so heavily on mom. It may be that having a mother as such a strong influence on relationships helps to deter cheating.
Another factor in dating is appearance versus personality. More Jewish daters stated that personality was the most important factor in choosing a partner. With a greater emphasis on personality over looks, cheating may be less of a temptation. With value placed on appearance, a dater may be more likely to stray from a partner.
The relationship between infidelity and religion is not always obvious and also not easy to explain. It is certainly overlooked in academic studies. For those interested in sex addiction and infidelity, more research into what influences these behaviors will be important in the future.
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