Originally posted on Bustle
When it comes to why people cheat on their partners, there are so many different explanations, whether we’re just hardwired to be unfaithful or we were lacking something in our relationship and decided to look elsewhere.
“We can be born with wiring that puts us at risk to cheat, we can suffer illnesses or injuries that makes us more likely to cheat, and we can have learning experiences that can change our wiring and increase the chances we cheat,” clinical psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow, host of The Web radio show, tells Bustle. That’s quite a range.
Though it ultimately comes down to the individual, there’s still something interesting about seeing what those who cheat have in common — and seeing if we can glean some sort of pattern. And Ashley Madison, the extramarital dating site, just released data on the career fields of their users. They pulled from information about their users who have joined the site since 2002 to figure out which fields had the most cheaters — and there were definitely some that stood out.
While the most popular career for men who cheat was working in trade, for women, working in the medical profession was a clear winner. “A combination of long hours of potential stress mixed with a natural reaction to stress just might be the reason these women in the medical profession seek out an affair,” Isabella Mise, Director of Communications at Ashley Madison, said in a press release. “Jobs in teaching, entrepreneurship and finance also all topped the list for female members.”
But those weren’t the only jobs that appeared on the list. Before you look at the rest of the most common professions, don’t panic. If you or your partner’s career is listed, it doesn’t automatically mean that they’re going to 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 cheatinvolves many factors that go way beyond biology. A few of these factors are moral values, views on fidelity, and even willpower.”
Cheating is really complicated — and working in a certain career fields definitely doesn’t mean it’s inevitable someone will stray. But seeing the most common career fields are still fascinating to look at. Here’s what the Ashley Madison data showed.
1. Medical: 23%
The medical field came out as the top spot for women who cheat, with 23 percent of users being in that field. Interestingly, only five percent of male Ashley Madison users were in medicine.
2. Education: 12%
Education didn’t even make the top 10 for men but, with 12 percent of female users, it grabbed the number two spot. It may be because there are more female teachers in general, but it’s still an interesting divide.
3. Entrepreneur: 11%
Entrepreneurs came in at number three for men and women on Ashley Madison — with 11 percent being self-starters for each gender.
4. Finance: 9%
Nine percent of the women in the survey worked in finance — as did eight percent of the men — earning it a spot at number four on the list. I always think finance will be a hot spot for cheating, but maybe I’ve just seen Wolf of Wall Street too many times.
5. Social Work: 9%
Social workers also made up nine percent of female users, but only two percent of males surveyed worked in that field.
6. Retail And Hospitality: 9%
Retail and hospitality also came in at nine percent. It was slightly less popular among men — at eight percent — but still within the top seven for both genders.
7. Information Technology: 8%
Finally, IT rounded out the top seven, with eight percent of female workers being computer geniuses. OK, maybe not computer geniuses, but better with computers than I am. Or at the very least, probably with fewer cookie crumbs in their keyboards.
Of course, someone’s profession isn’t going to be what makes them cheat, but it’s still interesting to see how it breaks down. Ultimately, it’s down to the individual and the relationship.