Study: your partner is likely sleeping with someone else

Love triangle

A new study to be published in the Journal of Sex Research found that misunderstandings about monogamy and what it means abound in both married and unmarried couples. The two researchers from Oregon State University, Jocelyn Warren and Marie Harvey, interviewed 434 heterosexual couples where partners were ages eighteen to twenty-five. Interesting, forty percent of the time when one partner claimed he or she was involved in a monogamous relationship, the other partner claimed that no condition of monogamy existed.

Also, in instances where both partners answered that they were involved in a monogamous relationship, almost thirty percent of the time at least one partner had slept with someone outside of the relationship. Factors such as being married or having children had no effect on whether partners cheated or had an agreement of monogamy.

So, use a condom even if you believe you’re in a monogamous relationship, because your partner is likely banging someone else. Basically, monogamy is over. I’ve been saying this for years.

Commentarium (14 Comments)

Jan 24 11 - 1:10pm

Monogamy is over? For 18 to 25 year olds, perhaps. For people who have sufficient life experience with monogamy AND non-monogamy, not even close. It's a shame that so many people feel that being "sexually liberated" implies non-monogamy, because the truth is something else. True liberation is feeling empowered to choose whatever style of sexuality you feel most comfortable with, and for many people into all sorts of freaky shit -- more than you might suspect, that means monogamy. Not by imposition, but by choice.

Jan 24 11 - 6:09pm

"where partners were ages eighteen to twenty-five"

you do realize that Nerve no longer has any readers in this age group, right?

and also considering that the median age of marriage in the US is now almost 28 for men and 26 for women...

Jan 24 11 - 7:36pm
College kid

@ Lezley - I fit quite comfortable in that age group.

I think the point they are trying to show how the next slew of people to become full fledged adults think about relationships.

Jan 24 11 - 8:41pm

Monogamy has been over for years? What data, over time, do you think that you are comparing this to? What makes you so certain that this is anything new?

Nor do I agree that this means a state of total non-monogamy. Most species that we think of as monogamous engage in illicit sex. DNA samples of ducklings show that about 10% of mallard eggs were fertilized by someone other than the hen mallard's mate. But sex is only one component of monogamy. The important thing is that both of the mallards are jointly cooperating to defend a territory, obtain food and raise and protect their ducklings.

Jan 24 11 - 8:45pm

(Continued) Monogamy is more than just who puts what cock in which hole now and then. The fact that people like to fuck someone else now and then doesn't change either the fact or the value of monogamy. And for the record, condoms fucking suck and life is too short to spend your whole sexual career using them. You're also missing the key point that it is not possible to conceive children while wearing them. Not everyone is a 19 year old barhopping tard in Brooklyn.

Jan 25 11 - 12:27pm

I agree with @tkm in spite of what people have told me on other forums, which, for example, is that if threesomes are NOT a regular part of your in-relationship sex, that you are anti-sex etc. Yes, because to be pro-sex means one MUST have sex with every willing human being, at all times.

Jan 25 11 - 3:39pm

Was monogamy ever alive for the 18 - 25 group?

Jan 25 11 - 4:32pm

well, this was a provocative post. Great work. Now it would be compelling to see some reliable data on this topic. Tough to get I know.

Jan 25 11 - 5:25pm

I don't agree that non-monogamy is only a problem for the 18-25 age group. I'm 24 and I work with a large number of middle age men. The majority of them are married and have propositioned me for sex at some time or another. Family men are some of the worst for cheating.

Jan 26 11 - 7:42am

Monogamy is over? When was it under?

Jan 26 11 - 11:31pm
Boon Companions

"...ages eighteen to twenty-five" ...Who cares? Kids - especially American kids between 18-25 have no idea if they're coming or going in a relationship department. It's especially true if they've been sitting around getting brainwashed in one of our fabulous holding tanks that pass for a college. If one wants to mature, one wants to join the real world. A vast majority of Americans have been so dumbed-down, over-taxed, overworked and over-saturated by junk culture - many don't become adults until they're like 75 these days, if that. 18-25? ...Who cares.

Jan 27 11 - 11:15am

This kind of reporting is EXACTLY what is wrong with popular science articles. Are you at all familiar with how respondents were selected for this study?

"The researchers were actually trying to study HIV prevention strategies among heterosexual couples, and so they specifically chose couples who they deemed to be “at risk,” for HIV transmission. They looked at couples from the PARTNERS Project, which is a couples-based program aimed at increasing protective practices among heterosexuals at risk for HIV and STI infection. They started by recruiting women from this program in East Los Angeles and Oklahoma City and if they met the recruitment criteria they interviewed the women and their partners. In order for couples to be eligible for the study, the women had to be between 18 and 25 years old and had to meet one of three criteria: they had to have engaged in risky behavior such as intravenous drug use or sex with another male partner in the last year, suspected their partner of engaging in such risky behavior, or expected that either they or their partner would have sex with someone else in the next year (while they were still a couple). In other words, the researchers selected for people whose relationships were likely to be on shaky ground with respect to monogamy to begin with."


Jan 27 11 - 2:51pm

Statistics are slightly misleading. For example: the 30% number for couples where both people realize they are in a monogamous relationship. People have to remember that # includes EITHER person. Really that means you only have about a 15% chance of having a cheating partner, because you also have a 15% chance that YOU will be the cheating partner. (Numbers are not exact because they don't account for instances when BOTH people cheat)

Mar 16 11 - 8:20pm

How could I tell if my mans had sex with anughther female