Academic distinction means infidelity - to a degree

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The Independent Online
Does your partner have a PhD? If the answer is yes, now may be the time to check for lipstick on his collar or mystery names in her address book. According to the Economic and Social Research Council's National Survey of Sexual Attitudes, the best-educated Britons are the most likely to cheat on their spouse. More than one in 10 married or cohabiting male graduates has had two or more sexual partners in the past five years, the study says.

Their female counterparts are somewhat more restrained, but are still half as likely to be adulterous.

But while infidelity is flourishing among those with letters after their names, adults who left school with low level or no qualifications are mainly resisting the temptation of an extra-marital fling, according to a new analysis of the sexual attitudes survey, which drew on interviews with nearly 19,000 randomly selected Britons. Only around one in 20 poorly educated men confessed to being unfaithful.

The research also reveals a sharp fall in the age at which teenagers become sexually active. Forty years ago, the average age was 21 for women and 20 for men - now this has fallen to 17 for both men and women. Lucy Ward