iVillage.com Poll Reveals Infidelity is on the Minds of Women (and Men!)

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New GFK Roper Poll from iVillage.com, the first and largest community of women, finds that both men and women believe that cheating is almost unforgivable, while people are less faithful now than in the past

iVillage is the definitive place for women to go to connect with one another and share real life

In light of the recent news around former New York governor Eliot Spitzer's reported extramarital encounter with a prostitute, and this week's disclosure from newly sworn New York governor David Paterson that he and his wife were both unfaithful in their marriage, the topic of infidelity is a hot topic of discussion for both men and women.

At iVillage.com , the first and largest community of women online, the message boards are buzzing with comments, questions and confessions about infidelity: http://beehive.ivillage.com/ivillage/archives/2008/03/spitzer.html. The site's "Betrayed Spouses" board, http://messageboards.ivillage.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=iv-rladultery&msg=44642.1, has seen an increase in traffic of 22% since before the news hit.

"iVillage is the definitive place for women to go to connect with one another and share real life," said Deborah Fine, President, iVillage. "A topic like this one, so charged with emotion, takes that to another level - it's like sharing on steroids."

According to the iVillage/Roper poll results, cheating is one of -- if not the most -- unforgivable things one can do in a relationship. When asked to rank cheating on a 10 point scale where 10 equals "forgive completely" and 1 equals "unforgivable," cheating averages 3.4.

Both men and women find it true that…

  • the definition of cheating varies among couples (83%)
  • the internet is making it easier for people to cheat on their significant other (82%), and that
  • people are less faithful now than in the past (71%)

Women are significantly more likely than men to say that the internet makes it easier for people to cheat (85% vs. 79%). They are also significantly more likely than men to say that the statement that men and women have the same definition of cheating is false (73% vs. 66%).

But men are significantly more likely than women to find the idea of being 100% faithful in a long term relationship unrealistic (22% vs. 15%). Interestingly, men are much more likely than women to think their significant other having an affair would be the worst thing to happen (50% vs. 36%). Women are much more likely to think having sex with a prostitute is the worst thing (27% vs. 19%).

Four in 10 people agree that the worst possible thing that could happen in their relationship would be their significant other having an affair (43%) versus their significant other having sex with a prostitute (23%) or their significant other announcing they are gay (21%).

The #1 reason men and women think people stay in relationships with spouses who cheat is their children (40%).

If they learned their significant other was cheating, the majority of Americans say they would leave instead of stay (58% vs. 30%). Women are significantly more likely than men to say they would leave (63% vs. 53%). Men are significantly more likely than women to stay with their spouse (35% vs. 26%). This finding might feed into the larger demographic changes to American society where women are growing more independent, thanks to higher education, delayed marriage, and greater involvement in their own personal finances/career etc.

The poll results are based on telephone interviews conducted from March 14 to March 16, 2008. A total of 1005 interviews were completed with 528 female adults and 477 male adults. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3 percentage points and is higher for subgroups.

iVillage Inc. , a division of NBC Universal, is the first and largest media company dedicated exclusively to connecting women at every stage of their lives. Ranked the #1 online destination for women with 31 million unique visitors (comScore MediaMetrix), iVillage.com offers an authentic community infused with compelling content from experts on health , parenting , pregnancy , beauty , style , fitness , relationships , food and entertainment . The site's interactive features include thousands of message boards and a wide variety of social networking tools, allowing women around the world to connect, share ideas, and seek advice and support about everything from fertility to fashion.

Established in 1995, iVillage's brand extensions include iVillage UK, iVillage Total Health and owned sites Astrology.com , GardenWeb and gURL.com , in addition to the Newborn Channel . The company, acquired by NBC Universal in May 2006, is based in New York.

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Kristie Chong
iVillage
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