Huffpost Women

Sexual Narcissists May Be More Likely To Cheat, Study Finds

Posted: Updated:
Tim Robberts via Getty Images

There are a ton of articles out there highlighting the downsides to dating a narcissist and now a new reason can be added to the list: a new study says people who are narcissists -- particularly in the sexual arena -- are more likely to cheat.

Researchers James K. McNulty and Laura Widman studied 123 newlywed couples through their first four years of marriage, both in the lab and through questionnaires, in which the participants gave self-reported measures of sexual satisfaction, marital satisfaction, and infidelity.

Participants were specifically asked to answer questions about sexual narcissism, which is defined as having a grandiose sense of sexual skill, sexual exploitation, sexual entitlement, and lack of sexual empathy.

In order to assess sexual narcissism, researchers asked participants to agree or disagree on a 5-point scale with phrases like "I could easily convince my spouse to have sex with me if he or she was unwilling,” "I really know how to please my spouse sexually," and "I feel I deserve sexual activity when I am in the mood for it."

After four years, McNulty and Widman discovered that participants with higher levels of sexual narcissism were more likely to cheat on their partners than participants with lower levels. "The spouses who were more confident about their sexual skill were more likely to commit an infidelity," the researchers explained in the study.

The researchers found that spouses who tended to exploit their partners sexually and felt entitled to sex were more likely to be unfaithful. And husbands who lacked sexual empathy for their wives were also more likely to cheat.

The findings suggest sexual narcissism could be a potential sign that a person is more likely to be unfaithful, researchers noted. "Interventions may benefit from identifying and targeting individuals who have narcissistic tendencies that manifest in the sexual domain," they wrote in the study.

The study was recently published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook and Twitter.

Also on The Huffington Post

What Constitutes Infidelity?
Share this
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Study says Twitter causes infidelity and divorce: Don't believe it. - Slate

Insights into infidelity: Study examines influence of sexual ...

Infidelity Study Reveals What Men & Women Really Care About ...

How Common is Cheating & Infidelity Really? | World of Psychology

Study Claims People Who Frequently Use Twitter May Be More Likely to Cheat ...