Men playing team sports most likely to use matches as an excuse to hide an affair

Be wary of rugby players, footballers and golfers

Rachel Hosie@rachel_hosie
Wednesday 19 April 2017 11:04

When your partner says they’ll be home late because they’re off to play football, rugby or golf after work, we hate to break it to you, but you may have a slight cause for concern.

New research suggests that men who play team sports are most likely to use that as an excuse to hide an affair.

In a survey of 1,750 men, researchers found that rugby players are the worst culprits, with 21 per cent covering up their infidelity by claiming they’re training or playing a match.

Footballer and golfers aren’t far behind though, at 19 and 17 per cent respectively.

At the other end of the scale, just four per cent of men partaking in athletics use the sport as an excuse for cheating.

The study by assessed men who spend six or more hours a week playing sport.

They then sought to analyse reasons why men who play particular sports might be more guilty.

According to psychologist Dr Kelly Campbell, high levels of testosterone lead men to think they need more sex than women, and various studies have shown that those who exercise more have higher levels of the hormone.

Testosterone levels are further enhanced by resistance training, which is a common part of a rugby player’s workout.

And when it comes to football, a 2012 study claimed that playing a 90-minute football match increased testosterone levels by 30 per cent.

And according to sociologist Dr Steven Ortiz from Oregon State University, there’s a “culture of adultery” amongst sportsmen. He believes they spur each other on and place peer pressure on one another.

It’s not clear however whether sports players are more likely to commit adultery than others, or that certain sports players are more likely to cheat, but rather that they’re more likely to use their sport to cover it.

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