Sunday, December 13, 2009

Skeptics more likely to cheat

In What's So Great about Christianity, Dinesh D'Souza claims that one of the psychological reasons why people adopt atheism is because they are very sexual and most traditional religions put heavy restraints on sexual behavior. Who wants to believe in all those rules when you have the libido of a bonobo?

I looked at infidelity to see if there was a relationship between skepticism and deviant sexual behavior. The table shows that there clearly is. As skepticism grows, so does the risk of cheating. Compared to believers, all categories except "believes sometimes"  have significantly higher rates. Atheists are almost twice as likely to stray. (This finding is also consistent with the greater sexual deviance and skepticism seen among men).

Of course, this link does not identify what is causing what.


Anonymous said...
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Jason Malloy said...

I think the relationship more plausibly runs the other way. It's easier and more advantageous to adopt liberal/diet soda views about religion and sexuality than to adopt unpopular (and sexually unattractive) atheist viewpoints.

But once you're already over the hump, it's more difficult to feel secular intellectual or emotional guilt over sex.

Jason Malloy said...

"Cheating" also rises with WORDSUM scores. Almost 30% of men with WORDSUM 10 scores have had extramarital sex as well.

Part of this could be increased opportunity for successful men. But the association is similar for women.

(I know I've mentioned this before, but the EVSTRAY variable* would also encompass polyamory, which is more common among eggheads, liberals, and libertines.

* 'Have you ever had sex with someone other than your husband or wife while you were married?'

sabril said...

It's also possible that as people become more skeptical/secular, they are more willing to admit to cheating.

as said...

Speaking of Dinesh D'Souza, he's married to a white female.

Have you written posts on interracial marriage?

Speaking as an Indian girl, it really bothers me a lot, for several reasons.

What do you think of it?

Jim said...


Why does it bother you the D'Souza is married to a white female?

I (generic white guy) am married to an Indian female. Is that also bothersome?

Anonymous said...

Do you think there's a difference among persons raised religiously who eventually become atheists? The reason I ask is because Blacks are more promiscuous than most other ethnicities, yet are fairly religious.
Compared to Blacks, East Asians are pretty much the opposite side of the spectrum in terms of sexual activity, yet they're among the least religious groups.

FeministX said...

Religious people shouldn't cheat because literally, there will be hell to pay. Why exactly shouldn't atheists cheat?