Women in South Yorkshire more likely to cheat if their mum was unfaithul too, survey reveals
Two-thirds of women in South Yorkshire who cheat on their partners have mothers who were unfaithful too, according to a new survey.
A third of unfaithful women (32%) felt their mother’s infidelity had given them 'permission' to stray - because the behaviour runs in the family and would not be a surprise.
Men are also more likely to stray if their fathers were philanderers, but not to the same extent as women.
Just over half of unfaithful men (52%) said that cheating ran in the male half of the family.
The results suggest that there is a ‘cheating gene’ which runs in families - making the children of unfaithful people more likely to betray their partners.
They were revealed in a new poll of 2,000 people who have had affairs by IllicitEncounters.com, the UK’s leading dating site for married people.
It found that the old adage ‘like mother, like daughter’ really does appear to be true.
The poll found that 64% of women who have cheated on their partners had mothers who had done the same.
And 78% of those female cheats said their knowledge of their mother’s infidelity had made it more likely they would stray, too.
Adulteresses feared a backlash from their parents over an affair far less than the offspring of couples who had remained faithful.
Just 22% of female cheats said their mother's disapproval would make them give up an affair - compared to 42% for those whose mothers were faithful.
A quarter of unfaithful men (25%) said they would give up an affair if their cheating father told them to - compared to almost half (48%) for those whose fathers were faithful.
The typical female member of IllicitEncounters cheats on their partner three times in their first year on the site.
Male members cheat slightly less often - at 2.5 times on average.
IllicitEncounters.com spokeswoman Jessica Leoni said: "If you want to know if your wife or girlfriend will cheat, you may want to take a close look at your mother-in-law.
"Cheating does run in the family, particularly on the female side.
"Women idolise their mother as they grow up and follow their good and bad behaviour.
"If their parents divorce or their mother confides in them about previous affairs, women are far more likely to do the same when they marry themselves."
Gweneth Lee, 47, has had affairs with more than 100 married men she met on IllicitEncounters.com over the last decade - three-quarters of whom had parents who had cheated.
She said: "Cheating runs in the family.
"Sons or daughters of cheats fear the disapproval of their parents far less because they know they have been unfaithful too.
"One of the men I have been seeing is a wealthy banker from Cambridge whose mother has been married three times.
"He grew up with her dating a succession of different men and that affected his behaviour as he got older.
"His mother is aware that he cheats on his wife and they have kept the secret between themselves. She told him, 'Well, I can hardly start lecturing you after the way I've behaved.’
"Another of my lovers is a guy in his 30s whose parents were both unfaithful throughout his teenage years and while he was at university. It suited them to stay together while seeing other people.
"He is married and cannot stay faithful. He said that the idea of sticking with one person for 50 years seemed pretty boring after he had seen how much fun his parents were having. His wife has cheated on him, too - and both her parents were adulterers. I guess cheats attract other cheats - so they both know what to expect."
Gweneth, who began cheating following the cancer death of her business executive husband Robert, said that many of her unfaithful female friends had mothers who were cheats.
She said: “Some of them tell their mums all about their affairs. They have a good gossip about it.
“In some cases, their mothers are still having affairs anyway – so they are sharing tips on how to keep them secret.”