“Women are cheats and can’t be trusted!” says affairs website

Like mother, like daughter: Women are more likely to cheat on their husbands if their mothers were unfaithful too

They say ‘like mother, like daughter’, and now new research reveals an unexpected twist to the adage.

A poll of 2,000 Brits found that women who cheat are often following in their own mother’s illicit footsteps.

According to the research, seven out of ten women who cheat on their husbands have mothers who were unfaithful too.

Source: Daily Mail, 6 May 2014

The Daily Mail, here, advancing the hereditary hypothesis of infidelity. However, the source of the statistics ought to offer a pinch of doubt:

The results were revealed in a new poll of 2,000 people who have had affairs by Illicit Encounters, Britain’s biggest extra-marital dating site.

Not only is this story nothing more than a simple advert an online hook-up site, but it features an interesting take on statistics, too: even assuming the results are accurate (and that’s not an assumption we ought to make lightly), what we’ve found isn’t a truism about the general public, as the survey sample included only people who had signed up for a cheating website.

If you only survey people who have elected to join a site like ‘Illicit Encounters’, you haven’t gathered the opinions of those who have offline affairs… or those who have no affairs at all. Thus it’s perfectly possible (and, indeed, likely) that children of cheating parents (male or female) don’t go on to sign up for a help-me-cheat website, and therefore don’t appear in the statistics of this particular PR piece.

Of course, why let the facts get in the way of a good publicity opportunity?