When even their president is being caught sneaking around behind his partner’s back, it is perhaps not surprising to find that the French top a poll for infidelity, alongside the equally hot-blooded Italians.
Some 55% of men from France and Italy admitted to cheating, along with one in three women.
The poll by Ifop comes just a few weeks after French president François Hollande was snapped leaving the home of actress Julie Gayet, on a scooter.
The photos led to the collapse of his relationship with long-time partner Valerie Trierweiler, and a torrent of worldwide comment about French attitudes to fidelity.
The pollsters suggested a link between bed-hopping and religion, saying that there was less evidence of cheating in “majority Protestant” countries.
Only 42% of Britons and 46% in Germany admitted to ever having an affair.
“After all the noise about ‘L’Affaire Gayet’, and all the articles in the international press about the fickle nature of the French, this seems to confirm the cliches about latin males,” Ifop director François Kraus said.
Hollande and Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi, who was convicted last year of paying for sex with an underage prostitute at one of his “bunga bunga parties”, are “ultimately quite representative of their respective nations”, added Kraus.
Infidelity is most evenly distributed between the sexes in Germany, where 43% of women admit to having had an affair. That compares with 34% in Italy, 32% in France and 29% in Britain.
The French remain the most casual about flings, with 35% saying they may cheat in the future, against 31% of Germans and Spaniards, 28% of Italians, and a quarter of Brits. A total of 4,800 people aged 18 and over were quizzed for the poll across six Western Europe countries.
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