Photo of a romantic couple's backs as they sit on a bench. One has a hand in the other's hair.
Photo by Jeffrey, Flickr CC

Do younger generations cheat on their spouses more than older generations? According to an article in The Atlantic, it’s too early to tell.

Sociologist Wendy Manning explains there is no evidence that young adults are more likely to be faithful than young adults in the past. While a recent analysis of the General Social Survey (GSS) suggests that people age 18 to 55 may be less likely to have extramarital affairs than those older than 55, Manning argues this simply reflects that people over 55 have been married longer and thus have had more opportunities to cheat.

A broader look at marriage trends shows that the divorce rate has decreased significantly and marriage has become more selective in recent decades among more educated persons, according to sociologist Andrew Cherlin. Manning notes that that millennials may be purposely setting themselves up for more stable marriages than their parents:

“The specter of divorce looms large. And it seems like it’s a big reason why a lot of young adults want to live with someone first. They want to divorce-proof their marriage.”

While younger generations may be more selective about the marriages they do enter, we won’t know if they stay faithful for many years.