Infidelity on the rise in France

Martine Sansoucy

Over half of French men and a third of French women have committed adultery, according to a new poll. 

In the anonymous poll conducted by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP), 55% of French men and 32% of French women admitted to cheating on their partner.

Infidelity in France has been on the rise since the 1970s, when only around 19% admitted to cheating, according to the extramarital dating website Gleeden, which commissioned the study.

IFOP's Fran├žois Kraus said the findings reflected societal trends.

"There's basically much more temptation around now, so people have more partners," he said in the Mirror.

"Women are more present in the working environment so they come into contact with other men, there's technology and social media, meaning people can communicate in private."

More than one in three French said they were prepared to cheat on their partners as long as they were sure they would not find out.

Two thirds of French women consider kissing a form of cheating, while 57% see sexting as being unfaithful.

Mr Kraus noted in The Telegraph, "One of the study's key findings is the enduring difference in perception of infidelity among men and women, with the latter much less accepting of dalliances than men."

The study also found that left-wing French are more likely to cheat than those who identify themselves as on the right.

The study may help to explain the relatively low level of French public interest in the affair between Fran├žois Hollande and the 41-year-old French actress Julie Gayet.

It may also explain why his approval ratings, though still low for a French President overall, have soared from 26% in October 2013 to 31% now.

A previous study carried out in 2013 by Pew Research found the French to be among the most lax when it comes to adultery, with only 47% of French people agreeing that infidelity was morally unacceptable. This compared to 55% of Britons, 60% of Germans, 64% of Spanish, 65% of Italians and 84% of Americans.

While the French may be the most permissive of adulterers, romance is not dead, with 68% believing it is possible to remain faithful to one person for life.

They are also forgiving, as 63% of French believe they can love someone even if he or she has cheated on them.