Big city, big affair

August 12th, 2013

This article is more than 10 years old.

Those living in Copenhagen are more likely to cheat on their partner than those in Jutland

Copenhagen is the infidelity capital of Denmark. 


According to a survey carried out by TNS Gallup for Berlingske newspaper, the closer one is to the capital, the more likely he or she is to experience infidelity. More than one-third of people residing in Copenhagen, or 35 percent, have at some point been unfaithful to their partners. By comparison, every fourth person in central Jutland (24 percent) and northern Jutland (26 percent) has strayed from their partner. In southern Denmark, just 23 percent have been unfaithful. 


Christian Graugaard, a sexology professor at Aalborg University, explains that part of the reason behind the varying degrees of infidelity has to do with city space.


"In a big city, one is surrounded by all the sexual potential that a large space provides," Graugaard told Berlingske. "The city is, so to speak, a social and erotic arena, where there is a wider selection available than in a small town." He added that those living in a metropolis are more accepting of a freer and more open sexual culture.


That those living in Jutland are less likely to be unfaithful than those in Copenhagen can be attributed to both a general difference in mentality and personal network relationships, according to Sidsel Eriksen, a lecturer and PhD at University of Copenhagen's Saxo Institute.


"The bigger the city, the more anonymous the relationships and the smaller the city, the more close and binding the relationships," Eriksen pointed out to Berlingske. "In parts of Jutland, it is difficult to remain anonymous should one want to be unfaithful – it is too risky."


Eriksen also said that in smaller communities, people are more likely to meet frequently for various social functions and they therefore "do not have the same opportunity to be unfaithful as one may have in Copenhagen". 


Sociologist Emilia Van Hauen said that infidelity is on the rise. 


“Just take a look at dating sites like VictoriaMilan.dk, where approximately half of the site's 250,000 members are located in Copenhagen," Hauen said. "This is particularly due to women, who are no longer economically and socially dependent on men, now also seeking an affair. We can now see that women are beginning to own their sexualities. If their men are not satisfying their needs, they are able to look elsewhere.”


Relationship therapist Maj Wismann said that miscommunication is often the primary cause of infidelity, but warned that succumbing to the city’s temptations and being unfaithful is not the solution to relationship problems.


“One can wreck another person with adultery,” Wismann told Berlingske.


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