More women are cheating on their partners with younger lovers - with the novel 50 Shades of Grey partly to blame for the rise.
Two of the country’s largest dating sites have reported a huge increase in the number of females seeking extra-marital mates this year.
The phenomenal success of the 50 Shades of Grey, a rash of celebrity stories involving older women and younger men and even the Olympics have been cited as reasons for a surge in cheating wives.
Dating website Undercover Lovers has revealed the majority of its female members are now looking for lovers younger than themselves having previously gone for older men.
Research into the profiles of 663,000 members to establish how old they were on joining and the preferred age of potential partners being sought discovered a distinct change in female behaviour.
Since the site launch in 2009 the majority of female members expressed a preference to hook up with an older man while most men were predictably searching for younger lovers. However, since the beginning of 2012 more than 50 per cent of women are now looking for younger guys to cheat with.
Emily Pope, spokeswoman for Undercover Lovers, said: “For centuries it has been an accepted fact that unfaithful married men generally chose a younger lover while adulterous women typically opted for an older one.
In 2009-2011, 83 per cent of men were seeking younger partners while only 36 per cent of female members expressed a preference for a younger man. Since the beginning of 2012, 52 per cent of women are seeking younger meanwhile the figure for men has remained consistent at 84 per cent.