PARENTHOOD IS A COMPLICATED "AFFAIR"
USA NETWORK STUDY REVEALS SHOCKING FINDING THAT PARENTHOOD IS A DRIVER OF INFIDELITY
The Digital World Is The New Little Black Book of Infidelity And Has Made Cheating Harder To Define, Easier To Get Away With
And Exponentially Harder To Resist
Study Conducted in Conjunction with USA's New Drama, SATISFACTION, Premiering July 17
New York - Thursday, July 17 - Rather than losing your spouse to the 7-year itch, you may need to worry about losing him or her once you have a seven-month-old! True to the saying "three is a crowd," a new study - dubbed the MODERN LOVE REPORT - commissioned by USA Network surprisingly reveals that once baby is on board, parents (24%) are far more likely than non-parents (15%) to abandon ship. This runs completely counter to what America expects, as Gen X and Gen Y (18 to 49 year olds) are three times more likely to say couples with children are more committed to one another than those without children. Parenthood is arguably the driver of infidelity - 55% of couples married with children say "marriage is more difficult than I thought it would be," vs. only 34% of childless married couples that feel the same.
The MODERN LOVE REPORT was conducted in conjunction with the premiere of USA's new original drama series, SATISFACTION, which examines marriage at its midpoint through the lens of one couple who grapple with the question "What do you do when having it all is not enough?" The series premieres on Thursday, July 17th at 10PM.
"What's clear from our study is the likelihood of committing infidelity is far greater once the pressures and realities of parenthood enter the equation" said Melissa Lavigne-Delville, founder of culture and trend agency, Culture Co-Op, who authored the study. "Unfortunately, the idea of having it 'all,' with a spouse and kids is proving to be not enough -- or in some cases, too much to handle."
Americans also seem to have double standard when it comes to cheating. 82% of us have "zero tolerance" for it, and a whopping 94% of us say we would rather never marry at all, than marry someone who we know would cheat (6%). Yet 81% admitted they would cheat if there were no consequences, and 42% of us already have.
According to the respondents, it's far better to cheat with a stranger (81%) than with a friend (19%). And no one should assume boys are the only ones behaving badly: women were as likely as men to admit to having cheated on a significant other (42%). More than half of us (54%) believe cheating could be justified, with the top valid reason being that your significant other cheated on you.
And for those who are not cheating, it doesn't mean they aren't thinking about it. Over three quarters of those who are married or in a relationship say they fantasize about being with someone other than their significant other, and almost half (48%) say they don't feel guilty about it.
The study also reveals that the new digital landscape has dramatically changed the relationship playing field. Social lovers are the new secret lovers, and Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are the new little black books of infidelity. While infidelity is nothing new, the digital world has made it harder to define, easier to get away with, and exponentially harder to resist. 86% of Gen X and Gen Y'ers say online sites make it easier for people to cheat, and one third (31%) of us admit to having had a digital, though not physical relationship.
Digital platforms have also given rise to social stalking, particularly among women who emerged from the study as "single wired females." 35% of women - and a full 45% of Gen Y women - confess to looking up their exes' new girlfriend (vs only 17% of men). Additionally 20% women say they follow their ex online.
For those who are on the fence about committing to one person for eternity, the study confirmed the popularity of a new option: "monogamish." The majority of Gen X and Y agree that monogamy is a social expectation but not a biological reality," with 55% believing "pretty much everyone is unfaithful at least once in their life." One in five men (21%) prefer a "monogamish" relationship to a monogamous one.
Being "monogamish" might also include a three-way romantic encounter. Surprisingly, over a quarter (26%) of us have discussed bringing in a third person to our romantic relationships. This is particularly true among men 25-34, nearly half (41%) of who say they have discussed this idea with their significant other.
And while "monogamish" is still catching on, the idea of "forever" is quickly losing ground. The majority (56%) of both men and women think a marriage can still be defined as successful even if it does not last forever, and nearly half of us (40%) believe we should abolish the "til death do us part" vow - it's just not realistic. And when it comes to vows, 73% of men and women say vows are not enough and other steps should be taken before granting a marriage license. These measures run the gamut from living together for at least a year before marriage (35%) to being required to complete high school (24%) to pre-marital genetic testing for those planning to have children (9%).
Additional ideas on ways to modernize a marriage include engagement therapy, where couples go through counseling BEFORE marriage; testing a marriage in beta before going through with it officially; and renewing your vows every ten years in a "decade do-over." The idea of "uncoupling" is also catching on, with a third of Americans saying they would rather uncouple (33%) than divorce (67%) - a surprisingly large percentage considering how new the concept is.
About USA Network:
The #1 network in all of basic cable for an unprecedented eight straight years, USA Network is seen in more than 102 million U.S. homes. USA offers a powerful stable of dramatic, comedic and unscripted originals. The network also features spectacular live television, a dynamic portfolio of acquired series and the best in blockbuster theatrical films and entertainment events. A trailblazer in digital innovation and storytelling, USA is defining, driving and setting the industry standard for Social TV. USA is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal. The award-winning website is located at http://www.usanetwork.com.
A nationally representative online survey among 1,000 18 to 49 year olds conducted in May 2014, followed with focus groups in four markets across the country.