Roughly 40 percent of men and 19 percent of women in Vietnam admitted to having had an affair in a survey of 1,031 people conducted by the global market research and consulting firm Epinion.
The sample group made up of roughly half males and females, predominantly between the ages of 18 and 55, with two-thirds holding a tertiary education degree.
Tran Lien Phuong, who led the survey team, explained that Epinion decided to conduct an online survey to overcome the challenge of making people feel comfortable enough to give truthful answers in a society so famously reticent to talk about matters of sex.
However, Phuong said people tend to ‘underclaim’ in these surveys.
“My point is, the way one claims to behave may not reflect his or her actual behavior, so we need to look at their perception to measure their ‘tendency’ rather than obtaining statistics on claims,” Phuong was quoted by Asia Life as saying.
If 30 percent of the total claimed to have had an affair already, this number should be much higher among the married target group, she said.
“So it’s quite alarming to think at least one out of two people you may meet somewhere has not been loyal to his or her partner.”
The survey found more than 60 percent thought that more than half of all people had been unfaithful, with 20 percent estimating it was actually as high as between 60 and 70 percent of all people.
For those that did report having an affair, a new acquaintance was the most common other party with 47 percent, followed by an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend with 31 percent, Asia Life said, citing the findings of the survey. These hook-ups were most likely to occur at a social gathering of some kind, such as a party, where alcohol was present (37 percent) or through social media networks (29 percent).
Asia Life also quoted the survey as indicating that when people do stray their affairs are limited and short-lived; two-thirds reported having been unfaithful three times or less in their lives and more than half said it was a one-night fling.
The most common reason people gave for engaging in these liaisons was a desire for a new experience or feeling.
However, a vast majority of respondents said their greatest fear, if they were discovered, was the loss of their family and the social stigma associated with it, Asia Life said.
Most also said that if they were discovered they would cease their affair immediately and seek forgiveness, the magazine said, citing the survey.