Effect of Cheating Experience on Attitudes toward Infidelity

Desiree I. Sharpe, Andrew S. Walters, Matt J. Goren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The present study investigated how cheating experience influences perception of others' infidelity. Using vignette characters, we explored the hypothesis that a participant's experience cheating on a partner and gender of vignette character moderate gender-differentiated perceptions of infidelity (i.e., men reporting more accepting attitudes toward infidelity than women). Participants (N = 320) were asked a series of questions evaluating both how 'acceptable' and 'forgivable' was a vignette character's infidelity. Men and women with prior experience cheating found the cheating vignette character of their same gender significantly more acceptable and forgivable than the unfaithful character of the other gender. Participants who reported no history of infidelity found infidelity as generally unacceptable, regardless of character gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-658
Number of pages16
JournalSexuality and Culture
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Cheating experience
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Extradyadic
  • Gender differences
  • Infidelity experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies


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