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Extramarital sex occurs when a
married Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between them ...

married
person engages in
sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves bio ...
with someone other than their
spouse A spouse is a significant other in a marriage (in certain contexts, it can also apply to a civil union or common-law marriage). Although a spouse is a form of significant other, the latter term also includes non-marital partners who play a socia ...
. The term may be applied to the situation of a single person having sex with a married person. From a religious perspective, it could refer to sex between people who are not in a conjugal relationship. Where extramarital sexual relations do not breach a
sexual norm A sexual norm can refer to a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of soc ...
, it may be referred to as consensual '' nonmonogamy'' (see also ''
polyamory Polyamory (from Ancient Greek, Greek ', "many", and Latin ', "love") is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the informed Sexual consent, consent of all partners involved. "Polyamory describes ...

polyamory
''). Where extramarital sexual relations do breach a
sexual norm A sexual norm can refer to a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of soc ...
, it may be referred to as ''
adultery Adultery (from Latin ''adulterium'') is extramarital sex that is considered objectionable on social, religious, moral, or legal grounds. Although the Human sexual activity, sexual activities that constitute adultery vary, as well as the social ...

adultery
'' or ''
non-monogamy Non-monogamy (or nonmonogamy) is an umbrella term for every practice or philosophy of non-Dyad (sociology), dyadic intimate relationship that does not strictly hew to the standards of monogamy, particularly that of having only one person with who ...
'' (sexual acts between a married person and a person other than the spouse), ''
fornication Fornication is generally consensual sexual intercourse between two people not married to each other. When one or more of the partners having consensual sexual intercourse is married to a third person, it is called adultery. Nonetheless, John Calv ...
'' ( sexual acts between unmarried people), ''philandery'', or ''
infidelity Infidelity (synonyms include cheating, straying, adultery Adultery (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...
''. These terms imply moral or religious consequences, whether in civil law or
religious law Religious law includes ethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'"Et ...
.


Prevalence

American researcher
Alfred Kinsey Alfred Charles Kinsey (; June 23, 1894 – August 25, 1956) was an American biologist Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all time A biologist is a professional who has specialized kno ...
found in his 1950-era studies that 50% of American males and 26% of females had extramarital sex. Depending on studies, it was estimated that 26–50% of men and 21–38% of women,Choi, K.H., Catania, J.A., & Dolcini, M.M. (1994)
Extramarital sex and HIV risk behavior among U.S. adults: Results from the national AIDS behavioral survey
''American Journal of Public Health, 84, 12,'' pp. 2003-2007.
or 22.7% of men and 11.6% of women had extramarital sex. Other authors say that between 20% and 25% of Americans had sex with someone other than their spouse.
Durex's
Durex's
Global Sex Survey (2005) found that 44% of adults worldwide reported having had one-night extramarital sex and 22% had an affair. According to a 2004 United States survey, 16% of married partners have had extramarital sex, nearly twice as many men as women, while an additional 30% have fantasized about extramarital sex. A 2016 study by the Institute for Family Studies in the US found that Protestants had a higher rate of extramarital sex than Catholics. A 2018 US study found that 53.5% of Americans who admitted having extramarital sex did so with someone they knew well, such as a close friend. About 29.4% were with someone who's somewhat well-known, such as a neighbor, co-worker or long-term acquaintance, and the rest were with casual acquaintances.According to research from the University of Colorado Boulder's Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, reported a
Extramarital sex partners likely to be close friends, men more apt to cheat: study
/ref> The study also found some gender differences, such as that men are more likely than women to hold more favorable attitudes about extramarital sex, and that among those who reported having extramarital sex in the past year, about 12% of men had paid for sex (or to have received payment for sex) compared to 1% for women. Other studies have shown rates of extramarital sex as low as 2.5%. Engagement in extramarital sex has been associated with individuals who have a higher
libido Libido (; colloquial Colloquialism or colloquial language is the style (sociolinguistics), linguistic style used for casual (informal) communication. It is the most common functional style of speech, the idiom normally employed in conversation ...
(sex drive) than their partner.


Religious views


Christianity

Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
teaches that extramarital sex is immoral and sin. Scriptural foundations for this teaching are passages like : :"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." In Christian marriage, husband and wife publicly promise fidelity to each other until death. Adultery contradicts this promise.


Hinduism

Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
condemns extramarital sex as sin.


Islam

Traditional interpretations of Islamic law (or
Sharia Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law Religious law includes ethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action ...
) prescribe severe punishments for ''
zina ''Zināʾ'' () or ''zinah'' ( or ) is an Islamic legal term referring to unlawful sexual intercourse. According to traditional jurisprudence, ''zina'' can include adultery Adultery (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical languag ...
'', or extramarital sex, by both men and women. Premarital sex could be punished by up to 100 lashes, while
adultery Adultery (from Latin ''adulterium'') is extramarital sex that is considered objectionable on social, religious, moral, or legal grounds. Although the Human sexual activity, sexual activities that constitute adultery vary, as well as the social ...

adultery
is punishable by
stoning Stoning, or lapidation, is a method of capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the State (polity), state-sanctioned killing of a person as punishment for a crime. The sentence (law), sentence ordering ...
(but this punishment is no longer common). The act of sexual penetration must, however, be attested by at least four male Muslim
witness In law, a witness is someone who has knowledge about a matter, whether they have sensed it or are testifying on another witnesses' behalf. In law a witness is someone who, either voluntarily or under compulsion, provides testimonial evidence, ei ...
es of good character, the accused has a right to testify in court, the suspect's word or testimony is required to hold the most weight in the eyes of the judge(s), punishments are reserved to the legal authorities and the law states that false accusations are to be punished severely. The former regulations also make some Muslims believe, that the process's goal was to eventually abolish the physical penalties relating to acts of fornication and adultery that were already present within many societies around the world when Islamic teachings first arose. According to this view, the principles are so rigorous in their search for evidence, that they create the near impossibility of being able to reach a verdict that goes against the suspect in any manner.


Judaism

The
Torah The Torah (; he, תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Heb ...

Torah
prescribes the death penalty through
stoning Stoning, or lapidation, is a method of capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the State (polity), state-sanctioned killing of a person as punishment for a crime. The sentence (law), sentence ordering ...
for
adultery Adultery (from Latin ''adulterium'') is extramarital sex that is considered objectionable on social, religious, moral, or legal grounds. Although the Human sexual activity, sexual activities that constitute adultery vary, as well as the social ...

adultery
, which is defined as having sex with a woman who is married to another man. Two witnesses of good character had to testify in court for the case to be even considered by the judges. Israelite and historic Jewish society was
polygynous Polygyny (; from Neoclassical Greek πολυγυνία from πολύ- ''poly-'' "many", and γυνή ''gyne'' "woman" or "wife") is the most common and accepted form of polygamy, entailing the marriage of a man with several women. Most count ...
(one man could have many wives), so the marital status of the man was irrelevant. If a woman, however, is unmarried, a sexual relationship, though highly immoral and sinful from the religion's point of view, is not considered to be adultery, and therefore not punishable by death, but by lashing. Any physical punishments for any sins were in effect at the times of Judges and the Holy Temple. Now, any physical punishment is prohibited by Judaism—as no proper judicial process can be provided until the Holy Temple is rebuilt by the Messiah.


Law

Extramarital sex is not illegal in many countries and most states in the United States. Virginia prosecuted John Bushey for adultery in 2001. Other states allow jilted spouses to sue their ex-partners' lovers for
alienation of affections Alienation of affections is a common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ' ...
. Extramarital sex is illegal in some Muslim-majority countries, including
Saudi Arabia (''Shahada'') , national_anthem = "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia, " "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" , image_map = Saudi Arabia (orthographic projection).svg , capital = Riyadh , coordinates ...

Saudi Arabia
,
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
,
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
,
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
,
Kuwait Kuwait (; ar, الكويت ', or ), officially the State of Kuwait ( ar, دولة الكويت '), is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regi ...

Kuwait
,
Maldives Maldives (, ; dv, ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ, translit=Dhivehi Raajje IPA: ), officially the Republic of Maldives, is an archipelagic country in the Indian subcontinent of Asia, situated in the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and ...

Maldives
,
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
,
Oman Oman ( ; ar, عُمَان ' ), officially the Sultanate of Oman ( ar, سلْطنةُ عُمان ), is a country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Formerly a maritime empire, Oman is the oldest continuously in ...

Oman
,
Mauritania Mauritania (; ar, موريتانيا, ', french: Mauritanie; Berber languages, Berber: ''Agawej'' or ''Cengit''; Pulaar language, Pulaar: ''Moritani''; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Gànnaar''; Soninke language, Soninke: ''Murutaane''), officially ...

Mauritania
,
United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE; ar, الإمارات العربية المتحدة ) or the Emirates ( ar, الإمارات ), is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregio ...

United Arab Emirates
,
Qatar Qatar (, , or ; ar, قطر, Qaṭar ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar,) is a country in Western Asia. It occupies the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and shares it ...

Qatar
,
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders the countries of Central African Republ ...

Sudan
,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
, and
Yemen ) , image_map = Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Sana'a Sanaa ( ar, صَنْعَاء, ' , Yemeni Arabic: ; Old South Arabian: 𐩮 ...

Yemen
.


See also

*
Adultery Adultery (from Latin ''adulterium'') is extramarital sex that is considered objectionable on social, religious, moral, or legal grounds. Although the Human sexual activity, sexual activities that constitute adultery vary, as well as the social ...

Adultery
*
Extra-pair copulation Extra-pair copulation (EPC) is a promiscuous mating behaviour in monogamous species. Monogamy is the practice of having only one sexual partner at any one time, forming a long-term bond and combining efforts to raise offspring together; mating ou ...
*
Honor killing An honor killing (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, Americ ...
*
On-again, off-again relationship An on-again, off-again relationship is a form of personal relationship between two persons who keep breaking up only to reconcile afterwards, thus repeating a cycle. Researcher Kale Monk, an assistant professor of human development and family scie ...
*
Swinging Swing or swinging may refer to: Apparatus * Swing (seat), a hanging seat that swings back and forth * Russian swing, a swing-like circus apparatus * Sex swing, a type of harness for sexual intercourse * Swing ride, an amusement park ride consistin ...
*
One-night stand A one-night stand is a single sexual encounter in which there is an expectation that there shall be no further relations between the sexual participants. The practice can be described as "sexual activity without emotional commitment or future in ...
*
Threesome In human sexuality Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin w ...

Threesome


References

{{Authority control Sexuality Marriage
Sex Sex is either of two divisions, typically male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male cannot sexual r ...