The study found that 22 percent of married men and 15 percent of married women have cheated at least once — similar to the results from the MSNBC.com/i Village survey.Still, much of this depends on your definition of cheating.Survey takers guessed that twice as many people are having extramarital affairs as really are, estimating that 44 percent of married men and 36 percent of married women are unfaithful.The reality is it's not as rampant as we think, with 28 percent of married men and 18 percent of married women admitting to having a sexual liaison, the survey found."We think everybody is out there doing it," says Janet Lever, a sociologist at California State University, Los Angeles, and the study's lead researcher."Well, they're not." In fact, the rate of cheating has stayed pretty consistent, according to research expert Tom W.Nearly everybody considers sexual intercourse or oral sex to be cheating, but there are some other behaviors that fall into grayer areas.Nearly 20 percent of survey takers in committed relationships have romantically kissed someone else, a breach that 83 percent of people consider to be cheating.
“Whenever there is an affair there’s a sense of competitiveness with the third party.The new lover is most often a friend or co-worker, and the typical fling lasts less than a week."It can be the 30-year-old guy who's been cohabiting for six years with his girlfriend, or the 45-year old guy who has seemed happily married for 15 years, or, perhaps most surprising, it's the young mom who seems totally wrapped up with her infant and toddler," says Lever. According to the survey, 15 percent of women and 16 percent of men with children ages 2 to 5 years had an affair.For most people in relationships, a commitment means no playing around, ever.That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of love rats out there.