In this article, we will list the 15 most adulterous states in America.
Most experts define adultery as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than their spouse. In today's world with varying marriage dynamics, it is difficult to constrain adultery within this definition. Many couples have open marriages where one or both partners are allowed to have sexual intercourse outside their marriage. A more befitting term to describe cheating within a marriage is infidelity. Infidelity is having any sexual or emotional activity outside the agreed relationship boundaries. However, since researchers frequently study both adultery and infidelity, we will use both terms here.
Infidelity is a serious issue in marriages. According to the American Psychological Association, 20% to 40% of all divorces are caused by Infidelity. In addition, according to the National Insititute of Health's survey of divorced couples, 88% named cheating a significant factor in their divorces.
The occurrence of adultery or infidelity is also more common than most people think. Institute for Family Studies conducted a survey of either married or previously married men and women from 2010 and 2016 in which they questioned each respondent about adultery. The research found that in general, men are more likely to cheat compared to women. 20% of the male respondents reported having sex with someone else as opposed to 13% of female respondents. One interesting finding of the study was that age affects a person's probability of cheating. In younger age groups, women are more likely to cheat than men. 11% of women aged 18 to 29 were guilty of infidelity as compared to 10% of males in the same age group. However, as men approach their 30s, their probability of cheating increases significantly. Within the 30 to 39-year-old age group, 14% of men cheat as opposed to 11% of women. The research found a positive correlation between age and infidelity in males. Men in their 60s have an infidelity rate of 24%, whereas men in their 70s have an infidelity rate of 26%. Women, on the other hand, have an infidelity rate of 16% in their 60s and 13% in their 70s.
In today's world, cheating has become easier than it was a decade ago. Cheating through dating applications such as Tinder is also quite common. 18 to 25% of Tinder's users admit to being married or in a committed relationship. This is even worse when it comes to the United States, where 42% of Tinder users admit to being in a committed relationship. Given these statistics, it is no wonder that some online platforms such as 'Ashley Madison specifically target married men and women who want to have an affair outside their marriages.
Laws regarding Adultery and divorce vary throughout the United States. In some no-fault divorce states such as California, adultery is neither illegal nor grounds for divorce. In these states, a person seeking a divorce is not permitted to allege a fault-based ground. No fault divorce states include Oregon, Washington, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Hawaii, Florida, and California. On the other hand, Adultery is illegal in states such as Arizona and Georgia. It should be noted that there are some states, such as Florida, where adultery is illegal, but it is not grounds for divorce. Nevertheless, even in states where adultery is illegal, it is rarely ever punished.
With the ever-evolving dynamics of the world, Infidelity, once considered a taboo subject is gaining more acceptability. Research conducted by the Pew Research Center, which examined 40 countries globally, revealed that 12% of participants perceive infidelity to be morally acceptable.
With that backdrop, let's look at some of the most adulterous states in America.
Like our previous article on the most adulterous countries in the world, we did not want to engage in stereotyping while curating our list of the most adulterous states in America. So, we took a consensus route for this one. We identified five (1, 2,3, 4,5) sources and listed down all the states that they rank. For each time a state was mentioned by a source, we gave it points equal to its weighted score for that source. For example, if a source has ranked a total of 20 states with Wyoming on 2nd, we gave Wyoming a score of 10 (20 divided by 2) for that source. Then for each state, we summed the total score, which gave us the Insider Monkey Adultery Score. The higher the score, the more adulterous the state is.
15 - Arkansas
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 7.6
The southern state bordering Mississippi rivier, Arkansas, is one of the most adulterous states in America. However, under state law, infidelity can be cited as grounds for divorce. Adultery can have a significant impact on the alimony if the act is proven to lead to other serious impacts such as mental breakdown and loss of job. The state, however, allows for both, no-fault and fault-based reasons for divorce. When there is a no-fault divorce, neither of the spouses blames the other for the divorce. However, no-fault grounds occur when the spouses have lived apart for 18 or more continuous months.
14 - Alaska
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 8.3
Alaska has one of the highest divorce rates in the country, which is unsurprising since it is one of the most adulterous states in America. Like Arkansas, the state offers both fault-based and no-fault-based grounds for divorce, and adultery is one of the acceptable grounds for divorce. However, in most Alaskan divorce cases, the fact that one spouse has cheated does not affect custody or child support. Yet, there is an exception when the judge feels that the parent's adulterous behavior could compromise the child's health or safety.
13 - New York
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 9.1
The State of New York has some of the largest urban centers in America, including New York City. New York City, in particular, is known for indulging in sex more than people from other cities. According to a poll by Time Out, 50% of people in the city have had sex with their colleagues, and 26% have had group sex. However, people in this city are also very restrictive when it comes to defining cheating. A simple kiss is a breaking point for nearly half of the participants of the study.
12 - Massachusetts
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 9.7
Massachusetts is one of the states in which adultery is illegal. However, the law is very rarely enforced, and the state is the 12th most adulterous state in America. At the same time, it is surprising to see that Massachusetts has historically been among the states with the lowest divorce rates. Data from the CDC in 2011 shows that the state has the fifth lowest divorce rate in the United States.
11 - Connecticut
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 11.8
Connecticut allows for a no-fault divorce, but the state can also grant divorces based on certain grounds, including adultery. However, the judges do require that the person accusing their spouse of adultery provides evidence. Adultery and infidelity can have a significant impact on the alimony. If the person accused of infidelity is eligible for alimony, their alimony could be reduced or completely evoked.
10 - North Dakota
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 12.5
North Dakota is one of the top 10 most adulterous states in the United States. The state recognizes adultery as grounds for a divorce. However, the person accusing their partner of adultery will have to prove the acquisition. In addition, the judge may consider adultery as one of many factors when deciding whether an alimony award is necessary or acceptable. Adultery, however, does not affect child custody in most cases in North Dakota.
9 - Texas
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 12.7
Texas is a no-fault divorce state, in which you do not have to prove fault to get a divorce. Some of the cities in the state are notorious for being places where people are more likely to cheat. According to a study by MyDatingAdvisor, Dallas is ranked as the number 1 most unfaithful city in the nation. It is worth noting that Fort Worth and Houston are also second and third most unfaithful cities.
8 - District of Columbia
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 13.7
District of Columbia, or Washington DC, is not technically a state, but it is one of the most adulterous places in the United States. The district is home to national lawmakers and deal-makers, and it is not surprising that cheating is common there. In 2012, Ashley Madison, a Canada-based social network for adulterous-minded people announced that Washington D.C. saw the highest number of signups per capita.
7 - New Hampshire
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 13.9
New Hampshire is the seventh most adulterous state on our list. Prior to 2014, adultery was considered a misdemeanor by the state, but it repealed this law afterward. The state allows for fault divorce where adultery is considered as grounds for divorce. When setting Alimony and dividing assets, the judge may take adultery into account and favor more to the wronged spouse. However, if a spouse argues that adultery took place, he or she would have to provide evidence to the judge. The state also allows for no-fault divorce where the spouses agree to split based on irreconcilable differences.
6 - New Jersey
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 15.7
Adultery is not punishable in New Jersey. In addition, the state does not require any fault to declare divorce between married partners, but no-fault divorce could only take place with a separation of at least 18 months. However, the person filing for divorce can choose a fault-based divorce, and adultery is grounds for divorce in the state. Adultery also has the highest impact on the terms of alimony, and the judge will likely favor the wronged party.
5 - Virginia
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 20.1
Virginia is among the top 5 most adulterous states in America. It is also the entry in our list where things start to get serious as the Insider Monley Adultery Score takes a jump of more than 4 points compared to the last entry. However, it is surprising to see that adultery is a Class 4 misdemeanor in a state that is amongst the top 5 most adulterous in America. Adultery is a fault-based ground for divorce under state law, and unlike other divorce grounds, there is no waiting period for adultery before filing a divorce.
4 - Mississippi
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 25.0
Mississippi criminalizes adultery like Virginia, which is surprising because it is the fourth most adulterous state on our list. Adultery is considered a valid ground for divorce, but when claiming divorce on the basis of adultery, the prosecuting partner would have to provide evidence in the form of testimony, photos, videos, or correspondence.
3 - Colorado
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 26.8
According to the latest rankings by Ashley Madison, three Colorado cities were in the top twenty cities for infidelity in the United States. These cities are Denver, Colorado Springs, and Aurora. Colorado is a no-fault state, in which a couple can file for divorce without any grounds for divorce. The courts in the state do not consider any evidence of marital misconduct.
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 32.3
In Alabama, adultery is a class B misdemeanor. The state also has laws which the laymen term 'home wrecker laws'. These laws enable a person to sue a third party for damages incurred due to the breakup of their marriage.
1 - Wyoming
Insider Monkey Adultery Score - 50.0
Wyoming is the most adulterous state in America according to our methodology, and that too by a margin. For prospect, the Insider monkey adultery score took a jump of more than 17 points from the last entry. Wyoming is a no-fault divorce state in which adultery cannot be used as a reason to get a divorce. However, like most states in America, adultery can be used to seek better terms of alimony.
Disclosure: None. 15 Most Adulterous States in America is originally published on Insider Monkey.