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Unfaithfulness in Student Relationship Essay Sample

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Unfaithfulness in Student Relationship Essay Sample

This aged old question has been discussed from time to time and there are many differing views as to why people cheat. The general understanding of the word relationship is a significant connection or similarity between two or more things. It can also be used to describe an emotionally close friendship which usually involves sexual activity between male and female (Encarta dictionary). Do students enter relationships for companionship, because of love, because they want to secure future partners, because of all the above mentions and once they are in the relationship what will cause them to be unfaithful to their partner and how does it affect the relationship. Does it only lead to a break up or it strengthens the bond and makes things better? Are students unfaithful because they see it happening in the larger society so they tend to practice it on campus? According to Discovery News, approximately half of people who have been in a relationship of some sort have been unfaithful to their partner at one point in their lives. Contrary to popular opinion, men aren’t the only ones who are unfaithful; women are also (eHow.com).

The real question is “why?” often, unfaithfulness is a symptom of problem in the relationship. Anthropologists tend to believe humans are neither completely monogamous nor completely polygamous. Anthropologist Bobbi Low, says we are “slightly polygamous”. Deborah Blum, though, believes we are “ambiguously monogamous”, and that we are slowly moving away from the polygamous habits of our evolutionary ancestors (Adultery by Louise DeSalvo). According to anthropologist Helen Fisher, there are numerous psychological reasons for unfaithfulness. Some people may want to supplement a relationship, solve a sex problem, gather more attention, seek revenge, or have more excitement in the relationship. But based on Fisher’s research, there also is a biological side to unfaithfulness. “We have two brain systems: one of them is linked to attachment and romantic love, and there is the other brain system, which is purely sex drive.” Sometimes these two brain systems are not well connected, which enables people to become unfaithful and satisfy their sex drive without any regards to their attachment side (Kathiya Henna, April12010).

These theories make us understand that humans can easily be unfaithful because it is part of our nature, that is how we were created and we cannot really do anything about it. People do this because of problems in the relationship- something is missing. Lack of intimacy, one theory of why a people are unfaithful, has to do with a lack of love in the relationship. The person who decides to have an affair may feel that they’ve either fallen out of love with their partner or that they don’t feel love in return and thus need to seek it elsewhere. This goes along with a lack of intimacy, either emotional or physical (eHow.com). Other reasons are partners feel lonely, people find someone who treats them better or who appreciates them more than their current partner, and the respect they seek in the relationship is not being given. Simply stated, people claim that they are not happy in their relationship so they look for love and affection elsewhere (answers.com). Is this true among students on KNUST campus? Which partner is tends to be unfaithful, is it male or female?

Dr. David Holmes, a psychologist at Manchester Metropolitan University, women are having more affairs than ever- recent studies say the figure is around 20 percent for men and a bit over 15 percent for women- but they behave very differently from men when they do. ‘The biggest difference is that women are much better at keeping their affairs secret, (dailymail.uk). Men are unfaithful because they have too much power: some men have too much power in their homes adding that in such homes, the women accept it hence their children especially the males tend to learn this act from their fathers and practice it in their relationships (maameous.com). Men crave sexual “variety.” They have evolved the desire to be with different women (evolution of desire: strategies of human mating). We want to find out which partner, male or female, tends to be more unfaithful in a relationship when issues arise.

Amongst the many problems we noted, the issue of partners being unfaithful in their relationship on KNUST campus caught our attention. In our society and during our time in school we have noticed that most relationships end or go through major setbacks because of unfaithfulness. This goes a long way to affect the social, emotional and more importantly the academic performance of students who go through such trauma. is it because the love has dwindled down, one partner is unhappy, or some just do it for the ‘fun’ of it, is it due to peer pressure, these are the things we seek to identify here on KNUST campus so as out with a logical and professional explanation for why some students are unfaithful in their relationships.

– This study is to examine the cause of unfaithfulness in relationships on KNUST campus. (1.21) SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
We specifically seek to
* Analyse what it means to be unfaithful
* Explain the term relationship
* Identify why male students are unfaithful
* Identify why female students are unfaithful
* Examine the effects (good/bad) unfaithfulness has on the relationship.

Ho – student who loose trust in their partner are not unfaithful. H1 – student who loose trust in their partner tend to be unfaithful.

Ho – male students are not more unfaithful than female students. H1 – male students are more unfaithful than female students.

Ho- unfaithfulness does not lead to break up.
H1 – unfaithfulness leads to break up.

The study is being done to enable us understand the reason why some students are unfaithful in their relationships i.e. if is due to unhappiness in the relationship or it is a norm that once one is in a relationship he/she must be unfaithful at any point in the relationship. The research is also being done to find the effects (positive and negative) on the relationship and if it only causes a break up or it strengthens the relationship in a way.

The importance of the research is to understand the reason why some students are unfaithful in their relationship. This will go a long way to inform students in relationships about the possible threat and reasons why a partner will be unfaithful. They will be able to avoid doing these things so as to have a healthy relationship, and as we know having a healthy relationship can affect ones academics, social and emotional life positively.

(1.6) SCOPE
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is a tertiary institution which can be located in Kumasi in the Ashanti region of Ghana. It is the second public university established in the country. it was initially advocated by the late Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh I to establish a university in Kumasi as part of his drive towards modernization of his kingdom. This unfortunately could not be realized during his reign but was later carried on by his younger brother King Agyeman Prempeh ll in the 1952. Presently the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll is the chancellor of the university, the chairman is Mr Paul Victor Obeng and the Vice –Chancellor is Professor William Otto Ellis. The main university campus, which is about seven square miles in area, and is located about eight miles (13 km) east of Kumasi, The University has a population of 21285 undergraduates and 2306 postgraduates, the university also admits foreign students, whose percentage could get as high as 10% and fees are charged depending on the course being offered(Wikipedia).

The university has 6 colleges, 9 faculties, 55 departments, 4 Schools, and an institute of distant learning. There are six halls of residence namely Africa, Queens, Katanga, Continental, Independence, and Republic. About 60% of the student population is non-resident; this is because continuing students usually do not reside in halls after their first year they move to private hostels in and around campus. There are non-residential facilities on campus where non-resident students can rest between lectures and study before they leave for their homes and hostels.

Relationships are usually described as an interpersonal interaction between a male and a female; this may involve physical intimacy, emotional intimacy or both physical and emotional intimacy. Physical intimacy involves a romantic or passionate love attachment or sexual activity. Whereas emotional intimacy is relates more to emotion and feeling, its intensity may vary from time to time and is expressed through verbal or non-verbal communication. It depends primarily on trust. Hence, one could be said to have being unfaithful if they relate on any of the intimate levels with anyone aside their partners. This is because not all relationships are based on physical intimacy there are some that are based solely on emotional intimacy or both.

For instance if a boy in KNUST and a girl in UG are in an emotional relationship or are dating as this is also called and the boy has sexual activity with another girl in KNUST, what he does with this other girl is considered as being unfaithful or cheating (a slang used by students to describe unfaithfulness and will be used frequently in our research) so unfaithfulness or cheating is basically one partner being on a different or even the same intimate level with another person who is not their partner. A partner is someone who is involved in an activity with someone else. Mostly when one is called a partner it refers to marriage but in our research a partner will be seen as someone who is in a relationship that is to say a boyfriend or a girlfriend.

In the operationalization of our research; unfaithfulness among students in their relationship, we will look out for students who have affairs outside their relationship i.e. sexual relationships with other partner other than their partner. With sexual relationship we are considering all aspects of such as having sex with another person, kissing another person, fondling and any other sexual activity with someone who is not your partner. We will also consider the emotional intimacy of the relationship; if a partner gives more emotional intimacy or love to someone else other than his/her partner. Put differently if the partner has feelings for someone else and he/she pursues it instead of forgetting about it and staying with his/her current partner.

In research methodology it is not only important for the researcher to know the research method/ techniques but also methodology. Research methodology is an embodiment of the various steps that are generally adopted by a researcher in studying his/her research problem. Without the methodology the researcher will not have a clear idea of what he/she is about. It is worthy to note that Research methods is different from the Research Methodology. Research methods is referred to as the behavior and instruments used in selecting and constructing research techniques whiles Research Methodology is a system of explicit rules and procedures upon which research is based and against which claims for knowledge are evaluated.

The Cross-Sectional design is also known as social survey design. Ways of collecting cross sectional/social survey design is mostly by questionnaire or interview. It is also the study of more than one case at a point in time. This is the most used design employed in social science. In relation to our study; unfaithfulness amongst students in their relationships, it can be classified under a Cross-Sectional or a social study. This is because we have more than one case or variable to study in relation to our hypothesis and also our data will be collected simultaneously.

Quantitative or Quantifiable data- taken our variables which are the questionnaires, we will be able to calculate them through asking Yes/No or Very Good- Good- Average-Below Average questions; and through this our calculation will be done Pattern of association- as the questionnaire given to the people for answers is in a systematic and simultaneous order or way. When someone wants to make a very clear and precise illustration he/she can’t because of the systematic order of the question. One importance of Cross-sectional study is it allows researchers to carry out studies in real-life settings thus increasing the external validity of the studies.

It is very necessary for every research to be based on observation and more importantly measurement. This is because measurement gives a dimension of what is to be analyzed and also the examination of abstract things. In relation to our study, measurement is needed to determine what is meant by unfaithfulness and what it constitutes pertaining to our conceptual definitions. Measurement involves the assignment of numbers to events or object guided by rules. This is done to represent the concepts of the researcher in reality. This therefore means that, for a smooth and accurate measurement it is very necessary to remember the conceptual definitions. Each measurement must be able to be matched to a specific conceptual definition to use in the study. It is very important to add the unit of analysis in measurements. There are four major levels of measurement in a research namely; NOMINAL, ORDINAL, INTERVAL and RATIO. The nominal level of measurement involves the categorization of objects or events according to their similarities or differences. Both numbers and symbols are used for the classification of the observations.

Based on our study the way of determining those involved in a relationship amongst our population of study involves measurement. The level of measurement to be employed here is nominal. We will use the ordinal level of measurement in our survey. In this, we will adapt the Likerts scale in presenting our categories of choice. To determine the characteristics of our respondents we will use categories such as strongly agree, agree, disagree and strongly disagree from which our respondents can choose. The nominal level of measurement will also be used to categories attributes according to their similarities and differences. The way we are able to know the exact number for each category. These alphabets are used for easy identification. The ordinal level of measurement simply involves the arrangement of these objects in order of magnitude. Thus the population→ random students from various faculties students involved in a relationship students involved in male–female relationship. This level of measurement helps in determining the importance attached to the objects under research. The interval level of measurement basically measures everything done by both the nominal and ordinal. It specifies the amount of distance between categories.

The source of data for our research survey would be on the primary sources of data. The primary sources include source material that is closest to the person, period or idea being studied. In relation to our research survey, our source of primary data would be the questionnaires and interview of the students on KNUST campus. These would provide first-hand information concerning the research topic under investigation. Our analysis and generalization on the topic would be on the original testimony obtained from the questionnaires and interviews.

Sampling design is the procedure by which a researcher uses to select the objects or items for a sample. The sampling unit refers to the population of a geographical area of study. In relation to our study, the sampling unit is KNUST campus. A sample is therefore, is a subset of a sampling unit of the population or selected respondents. To find our sample for the study we first locate the population which is students in KNUST. (23,591 students) out of this population, we categorize the objects or items (student-student relationship) for the study thus male and female students in relationship. Our final step for finding a sample is for the study is to select a subset from the category thus selection of a variety of students from the various faculties. Our source list includes students from the various faculties and the sample size is 80 students. The approximated cost of our research which is very important in sampling is GH¢100.The sampling procedure for our research would be on interview and questionnaire and it will be a convenient sample (non-probability).

The method of data collection employed in our research is structured interview and because these sources of data are frequently used in surveys. They are however several important factors to consider in making effective use of questionnaire and interview in our survey of unfaithfulness in relationship among students. In drawing out our structured interview guide we consider the resident of the respondent. Our respondents are students thus it would be advantageous to use either methods. The setting upon which our respondents will work is basically the school campus. Filling out structured interview could therefore be conducted in their rooms, classrooms and cafeterias around. Again the behavior will be in a more private setting, it will also be convenient to give out questionnaires to respondents in the day when they are less busy and evening when students have retrieved from normal stressful activities.

It would be necessary to begin the questionnaire with a cover letter explain the motive of the research and eradicate doubts. Once introduced, the structured interview guide would be presented in such a way that, the respondents will be interested in participating. The respondents will be assured of confidentiality so that their confidence will be increased. It is important to establish a good rapport with interviewees, therefore we will employ friendly and mutual attitude using familiar student jargons and language to set respondents at ease. We endeavor to receive the most efficient response in our structured interview, thus we would make our structured interview easy to follow and unambiguous. The language of the questions will therefore be meaningful and orderly. The structured interview will be fairly short to prevent the wondering attention of respondents in the process.

Reasons for cheating in Men are more physical whereas for woman it is more on the emotional side. Many women mistakenly believe the mistress must be more attractive than she which is not true in majority of cases. Men may cheat because of the following reasons:- Sex: Sex is the most important reason to why men cheat on their spouses. It is possible for a man to have sex with a woman without having any emotional attachment to her whereas it is not very easy for a woman to do so. It is also said that men only need a place to have an affair whereas a woman needs a reason. Even if the man have a loving spouse who takes take of his every need physically a man may cheat on his wife if he gets an opportunity to do so. Moreover, the thought of sex can get majority of men excited so they may not leave the chance of getting another women to bed. Fragile Ego: Men have very fragile egos. When men are complimented by women other than their wives it is only natural for men to expect having a fling with the lady.

Many Men cheat on their spouses to prove to themselves that they are still attractive to the opposite sex. Seeking Variety with No Commitment: Majority of men like variety when it comes to woman. The more the merrier is the outlook of majority of men who cheat on their spouses. If they find woman with whom they need not commit they jump into such relationships looking for some ‘fun’. No matter how good or faithful the spouse is many men tend to think that having one woman is not enough. Family Background: The child of an adulterer is most likely to follow the footstep of his parent and lastly. Men are Men: Many men think they are superior to women and get away by doing anything they please (Anamikas.hubpages.com). Looking at this literature we can clearly see that men only are unfaithful because of sexual pleasure but this is not the case all the time. Some men will actual be unfaithful because they are constantly being hurt by their partner, that is she keeps on doing things that hurt his feelings and he then turns to be unfaithful even though he still loves her. Also other will be unfaithful because of lack of intimacy and love, one theory of why a person cheats on their spouse has to do with a lack of love in the relationship.

The person who decides to have an affair may feel that they’ve either fallen out of love with their spouse or that they don’t feel love in return and thus need to seek it elsewhere (ehow.com). Here we can see that love also plays an important role in the relationship and not only sex as stated earlier, also some students would not have sex with another student whiles they are in a relationship, they will just divert all their attention that is their emotional attachment to another girl and this is sometimes considered as being unfaithful or cheating. The probability of someone cheating during the course of a relationship varies between 40 and 76 percent. “It’s very high,” says Geneviève Beaulieu-Pelletier, PhD student at the Université de Montréal’s Department of Psychology. Looking at her study it can be noted that people enter into relationships with the best of intentions but things don’t always turn out the way they plan. What is interesting is why people are willing to conduct themselves in ways that could be very damaging to them and to their relationship.”

The student wanted to know if the type of commitment a person has with his or her loved ones is correlated to the desire of having extra-marital affairs. “The emotional attachment we have with others is modeled on the type of parenting received during childhood,” she says. According to psychologists, people with avoidant attachment styles are individuals uncomfortable with intimacy and are therefore more likely to multiply sexual encounters and cheat. But this has never been proved scientifically, which is what Beaulieu-Pelletier attempted to do in a series of four studies. The first study was conducted on 145 students with an average age of 23. Some 68 percent had thought about cheating and 41 percent had actually cheated. Sexual satisfaction aside, the results indicated a strong correlation between infidelity and people with an avoidant attachment style.

The second study was conducted on 270 adults with an average age of 27. About 54 percent had thought about cheating and 39 percent had actually cheated. But the correlation is the same: people with an avoidant attachment style are more likely to cheat. “Infidelity could be a regulatory emotional strategy used by people with an avoidant attachment style. The act of cheating helps them avoid commitment phobia, distances them from their partner, and helps them keep their space and freedom.” Both these studies were followed up by two other studies that asked about the motives for infidelity. The will to distance themselves from commitment and their partner was the number one reason cited (alevelpsychology.co.uk). Looking at her studies both men and women end up being unfaithful because they are afraid and sometimes have issues of commitment.

This opposes the view that both men and women are unfaithful because of sex or love issues. Also just as many men and women had an avoidant attachment style and the correlation with infidelity is just as strong on both sides. “Contrary to popular belief, infidelity isn’t more prevalent in men,” she says. Anthropologists tend to believe humans are neither completely monogamous nor completely polygamous. Anthropologist Bobbi Low, says we are “slightly polygamous”. Deborah Blum, though, believes we are “ambiguously monogamous”, and that we are slowly moving away from the polygamous habits of our evolutionary ancestors (Adultery by Louise DeSalvo).

According to anthropologist Helen Fisher, there are numerous psychological reasons for unfaithfulness. Some people may want to supplement a relationship, solve a sex problem, gather more attention, seek revenge, or have more excitement in the relationship. But based on Fisher’s research, there also is a biological side to unfaithfulness. “We have two brain systems: one of them is linked to attachment and romantic love, and there is the other brain system, which is purely sex drive.” Sometimes these two brain systems are not well connected, which enables people to become unfaithful and satisfy their sex drive without any regards to their attachment side (Kathiya Henna, April1 2010).


In our research we found out that the major respondent of our sample population are females with a percentage of 55 and a percentage of 45 for males. The age range of the respondents are also dominated by the 20-23 year range with 78.3 percent and the least is 28 and above years with 0.8%. We also found out that out of the 120 respondents 80 students live with their parents with the others living with either their mother or alone with figures of 17 and 14 respectively. The number of third year students who responded to our questionnaires were more than the number of students in the other levels of first, second and final years. A total of 111 students out of 120 of respondents were Christians leaving free thinkers as the least religious affiliations with 2 respondents. The research showed that 72 out of the 120 respondent are in a relationship while 44 are single and 4 have never dated. This is shown below.

Just as a majority of our respondents are in a relationship, a greater portion of 56 students are as well in a romantic relationship with a least portion of 9 in a religious relationship. In our research 29.2% of students were in both internal and external kinds of relationship. 8.3% were in relationship outside the country and 33.3 were in other kinds of relationships. With the aspect of cheating, 80 respondents consider having sexual relationship with someone other than your partner as cheating, 12 consider spending more time with someone else other than your partner as cheating while 28 consider showing love and affection for someone else as cheating. Out of the 120 respondents, 39 consider cheating once in a while, 13 have cheated once, 61 have never cheated and 7 always cheat.

In our research it was observed that 50.08% of our sample population has never considered cheating on their partner and 5.8% always consider cheating on their partner. 32.5% once in a while consider cheating on their and 10.8% have considered cheating just once. From the data we can say that people in relationships do not consider cheating on their partners. The reason why people cheat on their partners in the opinion of our respondents is due to no trust which was the highest took 36.7%, no communication (32.5%), boredom (17.5%), financial status of partner (6.7%) and other reasons (6.7%). In our analysis we found out that student relationship are more sexual and in our sample population 56 students agreed, 45 strongly agreed, 17 disagreed and 2 strongly disagreed. We also noticed that students enter relationship because of sexual intimacy, peer pressure and companionship.

Aside cheating on a partner the main cause of student breakup according to our research was lack or fall out of love which had a frequency of 43 and a percentage of 35.9%. Change in behavior of the partner had a frequency of 38; peer-pressure took 28 and boredom 11. A pie chart below gives pictorial view of the data.

In our question are men likely to cheat in a relationship we found out that 58 students strongly agreed, 39 agreed, 17 disagreed and 6 strongly disagreed. The opposite of our previous question, are women likely to cheat in a relationship 25 students strongly agreed, 44 agreed, 43 strongly disagreed and 8 strongly disagreed. Comparing both data we can confidently say that men are more likely to cheat in their relationship. In our research we also found out that women are good at keeping secrets about having another partner with a percentage of 44.2 as against men of 29.2. Seduction by another person can cause one to be unfaithful as proven in our data. 55.0% agreed, 31.7% strongly agreed, 13% disagreed and 3 strongly disagreed. The next variable we examined showed that men are easily seduced in relationship 77.5% as against women 22.5%. The research also analyzed if getting the opportunity to cheat causes on to be unfaithful, the data showed that 52 students strongly agreed and also agreed, 15 disagreed and 1 strongly disagreed.

A greater number of respondents will breakup with their cheating partners and this represents 46.7%, 5.8% will resort to loving their partners more and 43.3% choose to work it out with their cheating partners. On the other hand a least percentage of 4.2 will not be bothered at all if their partners cheat on them. From our survey 88 respondents believe a person who has been cheated on will be affected academically, socially, mentally and health wise. A portion of the respondents believe such a person will be affected both academically and health wise and this is represented in two least figures of 5 each.

In view of our objectives, a total of 54 male students, 19 male students will cheat on their partner due to no communication, 19 will cheat when there is no trust, 10 will cheat due to boredom, and 4 will cheat due to financial status of partner and 2 because of other reasons. On the other hand, out of 66 female students, 20 females will cheat on their partner due to no communication, 25 will cheat on their partner because there is no trust. 11 female students will cheat because of boredom, 4 because of financial status of their partner, and 6 because of other reasons.


Are Ghanaian Men Hypocrites? http://www.maameous.com/2009/05/are-ghanaian-women-hypocrites.html (consulted on 28/09/11). Fisher, M., Geher, G., Cox, A., Tran, U. S., Hoben, A., Arrabaca, A., Chaize, C., Deitrich, R., & Voracek, M. (2009). Impact of Relational Proximity on Distress from Infidelity. Evolutionary Psychology, 7(4), 560–580. Infidelity-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infidelity#cite_note-24 (consulted on 30/09/11). Kathiya, Henna (April 1, 2010). “Adultery has roots in psychology, biology”. The Daily Targum (Rutgers University). Retrieved September 16, 2011 (Consulted on 30/09/11). TheoriesonInfidelity|eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8485374_theories-infidelity.html#ixzz1ZFCsCuYT (consulted on 28/09/11) Think men are the unfaithful sex… http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1211104/Think-men-unfaithful-sex-A-study-shows-WOMEN-biggest-cheats–theyre-just-better-lying-it.html#ixzz1ZBpoDdz9 (consulted on 27/09/11) Truth about deception- http://www.truthaboutdeception.com/cheating-and-infidelity/why-people-cheat.html (consulted on 28/09/10).

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