Science Proves Smart People Are Less Likely to Cheat on Partners... Sort Of

If it's really starting to feel like more and more people in your life are of the "cheating" variety, the chances are surprisingly high that you might be right. According to one recent study, infidelity is a much bigger issue between partners than may have been previously expected. In over one-third of all marriages, for example, either one (or in some cases, both) partners admit to cheating. An amazing 36% of all men and women admit to having at least one affair with a co-worker, and people who have cheated before are as much as 350% (!) more likely to do so again in the future.

However, all hope on the "stable relationship" front is not necessarily lost. Recently, a scientific study has shown that intelligent people are significantly less likely to want to cheat on their partners in the first place. This does, however, come with a number of interesting caveats.

The Science of Cheating: Breaking It Down

While it's true that there's a common image of men being more likely to cheat on their partners than women, recent research reveals that this may not necessarily be the case. One study from the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, for example, found that women, in general, tend to cheat at the exact same rate as men.

However, additional research revealed something truly fascinating – the higher the IQ that you have, the less likely you are to want to cheat in your relationship... if you're a man, that is. But again, it really isn't all that simple.

First, you need to understand that men with higher IQs were LESS LIKELY to want to be unfaithful to their partners. Not that they cheat any less than the rest of the population. This is because the study itself, while interesting and valuable, fails to account for a wide range of different factors. It doesn't take into account variables like someone's incompatible personality with their partner, for example, and their mate choice in general.

In essence, a man with a high IQ and who also is in an already unhappy relationship won't turn down the opportunity to cheat just because he's smarter than a man with a lower IQ.

But going back to the larger idea, part of this is attributed to the fact that men with higher IQs are more likely to value monogamy and sexual exclusivity as concepts when compared to men who are less intelligent. But at the same time, you need to keep in mind that preference and behavior are two totally different concepts and should always be treated as such.

This also illustrates an important concept that far too many people leave out of conversations like these: evolution. Thousands of years ago, men essentially had many romantic partners in an attempt to have as many kids as possible. The theory goes that less intelligent men are less likely to shed these instincts now that they're not necessary to survive, while more intelligent men are.

But it's also important to note that the study did not find the same thing to be true of women. The intelligence of a woman, by and large, did NOT affect how faithful she was to her romantic partner in any way.

In the end, all of this really does help to underline the idea that "cheating" is something of a universal concept. While science proves that smarter men are less likely to cheat on their partners, that absolutely doesn't mean it won't happen. Perhaps it all comes down to a question of general compatibility – if you truly find someone that you're happy with and who you couldn't dream of being without, all of the rest of the related factors become less and less important over time.

Or maybe it really is just an evolutionary response that a huge number of people each year have a hard time shaking, "til' death do us part" be damned. Regardless, it'll be interesting to see what else science is able to dig up in the future.