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11/28/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Infidelity Is On The Rise, Especially Among Women

Infidelity appears to be on the rise, particularly among older men and young couples. Notably, women appear to be closing the adultery gap: younger women appear to be cheating on their spouses nearly as often as men.

"If you just ask whether infidelity is going up, you don't see really impressive changes," said David C. Atkins, research associate professor at the University of Washington Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors. "But if you magnify the picture and you start looking at specific gender and age cohorts, we do start to see some pretty significant changes."

The most consistent data on infidelity come from the General Social Survey, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and based at the University of Chicago, which has used a national representative sample to track the opinions and social behaviors of Americans since 1972. The survey data show that in any given year, about 10 percent of married people -- 12 percent of men and 7 percent of women -- say they have had sex outside their marriage.

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Watch Barack Obama and John McCain talk with Katie Couric about infidelity.