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When asked the survey question “Have you ever had sex with someone other than your husband or wife while you were married?
” Americans older than 55 turned out to be more adulterous than people younger than 55.
Wolfinger’s analysis found that in the early 2000s, 18-to-55-year-olds were more likely to have extramarital affairs than older people were.
But right around 2004, the lines cross, and younger people became more chaste than their parents: Wolfinger takes these data to mean that Ashley Madison’s days might be numbered.
It’s hard to draw firm conclusions about generations, but Wolfinger’s analysis might be pointing to changing behavior among the subset of Millennials who do choose to get married.
Some people engage in polyamory, while others have open relationships, and more people are talking about those arrangements openly.Today, the hot new thing for married couples, apparently, is having sex (albeit rarely) with each other until they die.“Barring any unforeseen developments,” Wolfinger writes, “we should anticipate a future of more monogamous marriage.” Whether or not Millennials are doing marriage differently, they’re certainly changing other parts of courtship.Several pointed out to me that the Institute for Family Studies is a think tank that explicitly promotes marriage and family; its blog, where the analysis was posted, is not a peer-reviewed academic journal.Wendy Manning, a sociologist at Bowling Green State University, told me there’s no evidence that young adults who are between the ages of 24 and 32 today are more likely to be faithful than the same age group was in 1980.