How many Black men say they’ve never cheated on a partner? Does he use a condom when he steps out on you? Where did he meet the other woman? In an unprecedented exploration of male infidelity, ESSENCE polled almost 25,000 Black men and women to get the answers to these questions and more. Here, the top ten most shocking stats our survey revealed:
WILL HE CHEAT?
Almost 70% of brothers think it’s possible for Black men to be monogamous. But only 35% of them say they’ve never cheated on a partner.
SAFE SEX ALERT!
53% of men and 41% of women say they “only sometimes” or “never” use protection when they cheat on their partner.
THE OTHER WOMEN
If your partner is cheating on you, chances are he’s juggling more than one woman! We asked unfaithful men how many women they’re currently involved with outside of their primary relationship. Here’s what they told us:
ONE WOMAN 47%
TWO TO FIVE 46%
MORE THAN FIVE 7%
TROUBLING FATHER FIGURES
More than 50% of men and women who responded to our survey say their fathers cheated.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER CHEATING?
One in four men thinks having an intimate phone call with someone outside the relationship is okay. Only one in six women agrees.
WHERE DO MEN MEET THE OTHER WOMAN?
Respondents listed every location you could think of—including places that he goes with you:
online. . .at the club. . .at church. . .on vacation . . . at a party with my wife. . .at the grocery store. . .at a ball game. . . on the train. . .at my child’s football practice . . .while sitting in traffic. . .at my job. . .while we were both patients in the hospital.
NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE
Women are almost twice as likely as men to stay with their partner for more than a year after finding out he’s cheated.
WAS IT JUST SEX?
Coupled men and women admitted to being unfaithful in other ways than having intercourse with someone. 31% of men and 21% of women kissed someone other than their partner.
28% of men and 16% of women fondled someone else.
And 40% of men along with 30% of women had an intimate phone call or conversation with another person.
WHY HE CHEATS
Men were more than twice as likely as women to cite physical attraction as the number one reason for being unfaithful.
Women, on the other hand, are nearly three times as likely as men to step out on their partners as revenge
for being cheated on.
HOW DID CHEATERS GET CAUGHT?
27% of men who’ve stepped out said they were busted by their partner’s snooping.
17% said they confessed.
Some men said they were just plain sloppy:
“I gave her an STD.”
“She found a hickey on my neck.”
“I left the condom wrapper in my pocket and it came out in the wash.”
“I got a text message from the other woman while my girl was using my phone.”
Did He Step Out On You? Tell Us What Happened.
Only 13% of women ESSENCE surveyed had never had a partner cheat on them. Are you part of the 87% who have? Share your story of infidelity below.
For more of our exclusive study and interviews on why men cheat, pick up the October 2008 issue of ESSENCE.