Earlier this week, the web was buzzing with a study that found—quelle surprise—humans have a hard time dealing with the concept of aging. The paper—published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences—put forth the very logical idea that we tend to make major life decisions before beginning a new decade. In other words, our existential side comes to visit when we turn 29, 39, 49, and so on.
Not terribly shocking—who among us hasn’t questioned the direction of our lives?—but the study also found that men are more likely to cheat at this point. Specifically at age 49.
Yes folks, it’s the oldest cliché in the book: To charge their middle-aged battery, some men buy themselves a Porsche, while others seek out an affair.
Using info from affair-seeking website Ashley Madison, the researchers found that from the 8-million-plus male users ages 25 to 64, more than 950,000 were in their last year of a decade, which is about 18 percent more than leaving it up to chance.
As for women users, the trend is similar but the effect wasn’t as strong, pointing to the fact that maybe men experience a more potent sense of anxiety before entering a new age bracket.
Suddenly that Porsche isn’t looking so bad, eh?
Head over to Science of Us to read more about the decisions we make before big birthdays.