Study: Extramarital affairs more common among older Americans

The study, titled “America’s New Generation Gap in Extramarital Sex” and published July 5 by the Institute for Family Studies, reveals that 20 percent of married Americans over the age of 55 say they have had extramarital sex, while just 14 percent of married Americans under 55 have gotten it on with someone other than their legal partner. The study’s findings are the result of an analysis of data from the General Social Survey, which has provided an unbiased record of American attitudes on various subjects since 1972.

The study found that extramarital affairs were carried out mostly by younger people until around 2000, when the percentage of Americans aged 18-55 engaging in extramarital affairs began to drop, while the percentage of married people 55 and older seeking sex from people other than their spouse began to rise. That number has nearly doubled since 1991, when around 10 percent of older Americans said they had engaged in extramarital affairs.