Examining Variations in Participation and Outcomes of Consensual and Nonconsensual Extradyadic Behavior among Ashley Madison Users

Ashley E. Thompson, Delaney Wilder, Danica Kulibert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite the abundance of studies investigating individual differences associated with extradyadic behavior (EB), nearly all have adopted retrospective measures in which the data is likely plagued by recall biases. In addition, few studies have explored individual differences or outcomes associated with EB between those with consenting and nonconsenting primary partners. Thus, the current study investigated the extent to which Ashley Madison users participated in a wide range of EBs, whether age, gender, and sexual identity predicted participation, and the extent to which outcomes were impacted by partner consent. The results from 1460 adults (962 men, 498 women) revealed that users reported engaging in three categories of behaviors: sexual/explicit, technology/online, and emotional/affectionate behaviors and that women and those older in age reported participating in EBs more frequently than men and those younger in age. Finally, 16.9% of the sample had a primary partner that consented to their Ashley Madison use and those with consenting partners reported greater perceived improvement in their primary relationship than did those with nonconsenting partners. Our findings highlight the importance of assessing the multitude of behaviors that Ashley Madison users participate in and whether consent was obtained. Implications for educators and practitioners are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1194-1204
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Volume58
Issue number9
Early online dateApr 19 2021
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank RubyLife Inc. for allowing us to recruit among their users.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.

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