Studies have found that someone with a job that puts him in a position of power is more likely to be a cheater than someone lower down on the corporate ladder. This may not come as much of a surprise, what with all the powerful politicians and other public figures caught cheating, but it does officially prove that power plays a role in infidelity and sex.
A study from 2011, published in Psychological Science, surveyed over 1,500 professionals about their jobs, their power status at work and their fidelity, or lack of it, in relationships. The results were clear and demonstrated a significant positive correlation between power and infidelity. The greater the position of power, the more likely a person was to cheat on a partner. This finding seems to confirm the media stories about high-powered politicians, famous athletes and CEOs becoming embroiled in sex scandals: power can easily lead to infidelity.
The connection between power and cheating was seen in both men and women. There was no gender distinction when it came to power at work and infidelity. The researchers thought this fact might explain why, in general, women are less likely to cheat than men and why this may be changing. Positions of power at work have been traditionally reserved for men. With more women in more prestigious and powerful jobs, will we see rates of infidelity by gender even out? Only time will tell.
Why Does Power Promote Infidelity?
A more recent study, which was published in the Journal of Sex Research, built on the earlier research to find out why people in positions of power are more likely to cheat. Several hypotheses were questioned: that power makes men in particular more attractive to women, that power makes a person desire sex more and that power makes people feel that they are exempt from social rules and norms.
To test the ideas about power and cheating, the researchers surveyed over 600 adults in the Netherlands. They concluded that the most likely explanation for why power can lead someone to cheat is that it makes him feel more confident and that the rules don’t apply. The other two ideas were debunked with the information collected. Men in power positions are not necessarily more attractive and power does not seem to increase the desire for sex.
Complexity Of Infidelity
While the research suggests that someone in a powerful position is up to 30 percent more likely to cheat than someone who is not, the finding does not give us all the answers to the mystery of infidelity. Having power does not guarantee that someone will cheat, just as a lack of power does not guarantee fidelity. The connection, though, is strong and is important to consider, as are the many other factors that can lead to cheating.
Dissatisfaction in a relationship, sex addiction, exposure to attractive alternate partners and even genetics can contribute to acts of infidelity. What everyone in a relationship needs to remember is that there are many reasons why someone might cheat and to protect against it is difficult and unpredictable. For anyone who has been in a relationship and experienced infidelity, it doesn’t matter what the reason was or what factors led to it. Cheating is devastating and it can ruin relationships. While it is important to understand what causes infidelity, it is also important to learn how to recover and move on from it. We can help you with these 7 tips for recovering from infidelity