“Our results are perhaps the strongest evidence yet that people with more sexually conservative values, although they claim to act accordingly, are more sexually deviant in practice than their more sexually liberal peers,” the researchers write in Archives of Sexual Behaviour.

Kodi Arfer, a behavioural scientist at the University of California in Los Angeles, and Jason Jones, a sociologist at Stony Brook University in New York, linked the 2012 voter registration records for California, Florida, Kansas, New York and Oklahoma to credit card payments made by people living in those states to Ashley Madison between 2008 and 2015. The payment details were released in 2015 when a group called the Impact Team hacked millions of Ashley Madison accounts.

Of the five states looked at in the study, California had the greatest proportion of Ashley Madison users, with one in 560 voters holding an account. But in this state, political allegiance was only marginally linked to who signed up, with Libertarians making up one in 250 account holders and Democrats making up about one in 700. The rest all fell in between.