Why do people cheat? It's a tough question to answer. And the truth is, the reason people cheat on their partners will probably vary from person to person — because it's just a little too easy to say that it all boils down to sex.
“People often think the main reason people cheat are related to sexual needs,” relationship coach Laney Zukerman tells Bustle. “Though sex may play a role, the majority of affairs often start out as emotional affairs due to an addiction to attention and a proneness to boredom in any long term relationship they are in.”
And seeing things that cheaters have in common can be really fascinating, because it can help us see if there are behavioral patterns. Interestingly, it looks like the field you work in might have something to do with it, according to Ashley Madison, the extramarital affairs site. By looking at data of the users who have joined since 2002, the site found that the most common careers of their male and female members. And, there was a clear winner for the most popular career for men — working in trade aka electricians, plumbers, etc.
“Jobs in trades often mean irregular hours and are often structured in shift work meaning it’s easier for men to fly under the radar when it comes to sneaking around with an affair partner,” Isabella Mise, Director of Communications at Ashley Madison, said in a press release.
But even though the trade career field took the top spot, there were some other popular contenders in their findings. Here are the jobs that topped Ashley Madison's list for men.
Working in trades came in at the top of the list, with 29 percent of male cheaters working in this area. Interestingly, for women it was only four percent of users who worked in trade.
2Information Technology: 12%
IT workers might get a rap for being shy, but apparently that's not the case. Twelve percent of cheaters worked in IT and it came in at number two on the list.
Entrepreneurs came in at number three for men and women, with 11 percent of both genders rocking entrepreneurial credentials.
4Retail and Hospitality: 8%
Retail and hospitality came in at number four, with eight percent of male users falling into this category. With women at nine percent, it was a pretty even split across both genders. Hospitality can mean a lot of late nights, so maybe it's not that surprising.
I really thought finance would have come in higher — it seems like the high stress levels would be rife with affairs. But with only eight percent of male users working in finance, it was actually tied with hospitality.
6Marketing And Communications: 6%
Marketing and communications professionals came in at number six, with six percent of users working in that field. I guess they're people who are good at communicating and selling a story, so maybe they're better at getting away with infidelity.
Interestingly, the medical field topped the list of careers for female cheaters at 23 percent of users, but it only came in at five percent of male users — so it made number seven in this list. It's a famously high-stress job, so if affairs are partially about blowing off steam, that would make sense.
If your partner works in one of these fields then there's no need to panic — there are so many different factors that go into whether or not someone will stray. "Just because studies show certain people are more 'wired' to cheat doesn’t mean an individual who shares those traits will decide to do it," certified counselor Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle. "Choosing whether or not to cheat involves many factors that go way beyond biology. A few of these factors are moral values, views on fidelity, and even willpower."
Of course, there are a lot of different reasons cheating happens in relationships. But seeing the patterns of who chooses to cheat is useful and, if certain professions are more likely to cheat, maybe further research can help us figure out why that is.