Keywords

Cheating, Infdelity, Sanctifcation, Religion, Emerging adulthood, Non-marital relationships

Abstract

Cheating—a general term for extradyadic romantic or sexual behavior that violates expectations in a committed romantic relationship—is common and leads to a number of poor outcomes. Religion has historically infuenced conceptions of romantic relationships, but societal attitudes about religion are in fux as many seek to retain spirituality even as afliations with formal religion decrease. The present study evaluated a potential predictor of cheating that is more spiritual than formally religious, the “psychospiritual” concept of relationship sanctifcation (i.e., the idea that one’s relationship itself is sacred). In a sample of college students in committed relationships (N=716), we found that higher levels of self-reported relationship sanctifcation were associated with a lower likelihood of both physical and emotional cheating even when accounting for plausible alternate explanations (general religiosity, problematic alcohol use, and trait self-control). This association was mediated via permissive sexual attitudes; specifcally, higher levels of sanctifcation were associated with less permissive sexual attitudes which, in turn, predicted a lower likelihood of emotional and physical cheating.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2018

Publisher

Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Psychology

Included in

Psychology Commons

Share

COinS