The indefatigable Randall Parker of Parapundit and Futurepundit has been wondering about characteristics of women who cheat on their husbands relative to those who remain faithful. He suspects that women who are shy, religious, smart, and rural are the surest bets, the opposites presumably being archetypal floozies. Further, he thinks it likely that there are occupational differences as well.
In 2006, the GSS did deploy ten items to gauge Big Five personality traits, but they are not cross-referenced with data on marital fidelity. I have not been able to find anything else in the survey's library to get at shyness.
The relationships between faithfulness and religiosity, intelligence, community type, and occupation are all open to query, however.
In the proceeding tables, the value displayed is the percentage of women in the relevant category who report to have cheated on a spouse at some point.
The differences are modest. Not surprisingly, closer proximity to other people and the perpetual bustle of city life is more conducive to running around. Sex and the Countryside doesn't quite get there.
|Once a year||18.2|
|Less than monthly||12.8|
|Monthly but not weekly||12.1|
|Almost every week||9.3|
|At least weekly||8.9|
My advice stands: Marry someone who loves Jesus (and her father, too). Those who put forward some variation of the Pascalian Wager as an argument for why a man should attend services would benefit from including, at least tangentially, that church girls are golden.
Female respondents are divided into five groups of roughly equal size; Really Smarts (wordsum score of 9-10, comprising 13% of the population), Pretty Smarts (7-8, 26%), Normals (6, 22%), Pretty Dumbs (4-5, 27%), and Really Dumbs (0-3, 12%).
I'm not sure that I would've predicted this, but openness to experience and intelligence are positively correlated. Especially unintelligent people are generally not savvy enough to pull off an extramarital fling even if they wanted to. Seems like the best bet is to go with the girl who is sharp enough to be an accountant or a school teacher, but not a high-powered senior partner of a law firm. Who wants a woman whose prestige is higher than yours, anyway?
Using the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO88), the following table includes those for which the GSS recorded at least 60 females responses:
|Occupation as/in...||Cheat %|
|Real estate agents and appraisers||26.3|
|Writers, sculptors, painters, actors, and other artists||21.5|
|Sales and finance||16.6|
|Engineers and technicians||16.3|
|Certified nurse assistants||14.8|
|Operations department managers||14.7|
|Hairdressers and beauticians||13.2|
|Secretaries and other office clerks||10.3|
|Sewers and knitters||9.1|
|Office department managers||8.3|
Despite the common image of the office secretary doing more for the boss than just taking calls and completing paperwork, it is women in traditionally female job roles who are the most trustworthy. The teaching environment is ideal, with women surrounded by kids, thus fostering the maternal instinct, shared with colleagues who are predominately also women. Excepting accountants, the women who play the man's game as lawyers, financial consultants, property selling, and sales are the most likely to stray. Artsy careers, requiring a high level of openness, are also risky bets. The sheer number of men waitresses inevitably come into contact with means opportunities for flings abound.
GSS variables used: SEX(2), EVSTRAY(1-2), ISCO88, WORDSUM(0-3)(4-5)(6)(7-8)(9-10), COMTYPE(1)(2)(3)(4-5), ATTEND(0)(1-2)(3)(4-5)(6)(7-8)
* Sixty-nine female teaching assistants either currently or previously married answered the question on marital infidelity and not a single one of them reported having strayed. That's not a typo (at least not on my part--I can't speak for the GSS' data entry team!).