Analysis examines characteristics of users of online infidelity matchmaking

December 21, 2016, Wiley

By analyzing data originally stolen and released by Internet hackers, investigators have examined the characteristics of individuals who paid to engage in extramarital affairs using the online infidelity matchmaking site Ashley Madison.

The researchers found that income is the leading market determinant for Internet-facilitated infidelity, indicating the service behaves as a luxury good.

"Several characteristics related to at the individual-level were also significant," said Michael Chohaney, co-author of the Geographical Review analysis.

"For example, negatively correlated with Ashley Madison subscription and spending rates, decreasing about 18 percent and 13 percent for every additional religious congregation per 1000 people," added co-author Kimberly Panozzo.

Political leanings did not seem to have an effect.

Explore further: Infidelity perceptions differ between men and women

More information: Michael L. Chohaney et al, Infidelity and the Internet: The Geography of Ashley Madison Usership in the United States, Geographical Review (2016). DOI: 10.1111/gere.12225

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