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In general, national surveys conducted in the early 1990s reported that between 15-25% of married Americans reported having extramarital affairs.

Treas and Giesen found that people who had stronger sexual interests, more permissive sexual values, lower subjective satisfaction with their partner, weaker network ties to their partner, and greater sexual opportunities were more likely to be unfaithful.

In terms of infidelity, the theory states that when sex-ratios are high, men are more likely to be promiscuous and engage in sex outside of a committed relationship because the demand for men is higher and so this type of behaviour, which is desired by men, is more accepted.

On the other hand, when sex ratios are low, promiscuity is less common because women are in demand and since they desire monogamy and commitment, in order for men to remain competitive in the pool of mates, they must respond to these desires.

In marital relationships, exclusivity expectations are commonly assumed although they are not always met.

When they are not met, research has found that psychological damage can occur, including feelings of rage and betrayal, lowering of sexual and personal confidence, and damage to self-image.

Results, however, vary year by year, and also by age-group surveyed.

For example, one study conducted by the University of Washington, Seattle found slightly, or significantly higher rates of infidelity for populations under 35, or older than 60.

Those that posit a sex difference exists state that men are 60% more likely to be disturbed by an act of sexual infidelity (having one's partner engage in sexual relations with another), whereas women are 83% more likely to be disturbed by an act of emotional infidelity (having one's partner fall in love with another).

Strategic pluralism is a theory that focuses on how environmental factors influence mating strategies.

According to this theory, when people live within environments that are demanding and stressful, the need for bi-parental care is greater for increasing the survival of offspring.

These differences have been generally thought due to evolutionary pressures that motivate men towards sexual opportunity and women towards commitment to one partner.

In addition, recent research finds that differences in gender may possibly be explained by other mechanisms including power and sensations seeking.

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