Study shows cheating rates on soap operas aren't far from reality

Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2016 3:38:51 AM
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Think soap opera characters cheat way more than your average person? A new study shows you might want to think again.

It wouldn't be love in the afternoon without a few illicit affairs throw into the mix, but sometimes it seems towns like Genoa City, Salem, Los Angeles, and Port Charles are crawling with so many cheaters, there aren't any solid relationships left.

Many people roll their eyes when it comes to the amount of dalliances seen on soaps. Paternity storylines are a dime a dozen, and all the shows -- Days of our Lives, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, and General Hospital -- have obliterated popular couples with passionate affair storylines. Even Y&R's beloved pair, Cane (Daniel Goddard) and Lily (Christel Khalil), succumbed to a cheating storyline after famously spending seven years being faithful to one another -- a bit of a record for front-burner characters.

But, as it turns out, the cheating ratio seen on daytime may not be too far off the mark from regular life.

A new study done by the psychologists at the University of Calgary and McMaster Children's Hospital surveyed over 200 people aged 17 to 32, both married and dating, who had been in their relationships for at least two years to determine how frequently people thought cheating occurred in both their own relationship and in other people's relationships. The result? Participants assessed that the average person has about a 40% chance of cheating on a partner, while 9% admitted to having cheating in the past.

Funny enough, those numbers are actually quite low in comparison to extensive research done by leading psychologists across the nation. Most studies assess that 30% to 60% of married people will cheat at some point in their relationship -- a figure that makes Genoa City, Salem, Los Angeles, and Port Charles seem a bit more on the normal side, eh?

As for the big reveal that a partner has been cheating, the payoff on soap operas is bliss (tears, shouting, broken vases, suspenseful music, and more), and it seems the payoff in real life is quite good (if you can call it that), as well: 90% of the participants in the Calgary study said they would want to know if their partner cheated on them. Unfortunately, questions about whether or not the reaction would include throwing a brandy decanter against a fireplace were not included in the study.

Do you enjoy watching infidelity storylines on DAYS, B&B, Y&R, and GH? Do you think the cheating rates on soaps are equal to, more than, or less than the cheating rates in real life? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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