For whatever reason, we don’t talk about cheating. We don’t know where everybody stands on the topic or what their experience with it is. It’s often a shameful experience for both the cheater and the cheated on, so maybe we cautiously avoid it out of a concern for other peoples’ feelings. When I respectfully disregarded that respectful distance, I found out that broaching the topic is welcomed and oftentimes needed.
Asking seven fairly simple questions about peoples’ experience with and views on cheating, I entered into conversations that lasted anywhere from 3 to 45 minutes (transcribing was a beast!). Everyone I approached was willing to partake in the survey, and most were curious about my findings. ‘What did other people say?’ was a common question I received when mine were finished.
Below is a summary of what I found, meant to be reflective of the 54 responses I received. Each participant was generous in sharing their views on such a personal subject, and they warrant more space than I can give in one article. Thank you to all who shared your experiences with me.
The participants were 30 males and 24 females of various adult ages. The interviews were done on the street, at coffee shops, in bars, on trains, in FedEx lines and anywhere else I found myself in conversation with people willing to chat. Participants were from 6 different countries and interviewed in a few different states and countries.
As you read the responses to these questions, I challenge you to think about what your answers are for these questions. It’s not all as simple as you might think. So, deep breath! Here we go. Continue reading