18/06/2012 08:45 BST

Unfaithful Partners Less Likely To Practise Safe Sex, Survey Suggests

People who are sexually unfaithful are less likely to practice safe sex, suggests a new study.

In a statement, researchers from the University Of Michigan said those who played away, without any prior 'agreement' with their partner, were more likely to take health risks during sex, and also to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The results of a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that condom use for vaginal and anal sex was 27% and 35% lower in sexually unfaithful relationships and drug and alcohol use was 64% higher, according to a statement.


Of the 1,647 people who replied to an online advertisement, 801 had had sex with someone other than their primary partner.

Of those, 493 stated this happened as part of a "negotiated non-monogamous relationship", while just over 300 admitted to being unfaithful in secret.

“Our research suggests that people who are unfaithful to their monogamous romantic partners pose a greater risk for STIs than those who actively negotiate non-monogamy in their relationship,” said lead author Dr Terri Conley from the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan.

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“Monogamy can be an effective method for preventing the spread of STIs, but only if couples test negative for STIs at the start of the relationship and remain faithful while they are together.

"If people do not find monogamy appealing or feasible, they clearly need to think about the risk this poses to their partner and consider whether an open relationship would suit their needs better, and better protect their relationship partners.”

“More work is needed in both prevention of and education about sexually transmitted diseases,” explains Irwin Goldstein, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

“This research is of particular interest because it reveals that monogamous relationships are not always monogamous which can have resultant sexual health implications.”