Extramarital Relationships and the Social and Cultural factors Affecting Them: A Qualitative Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Student in Social Work Allameh, Department of Social Sciences, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Social Sciences, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Extramarital relationships are considered as one of the most serious threats to the stability of marital relations and family functioning, one of the main reasons for divorce, and one of the most critical issues faced by families. Accordingly, the present study aimed to explore extramarital relationships in women and find out social and cultural factors affecting such relationships.
Methods: This study was conducted qualitatively using a qualitative content analysis method. The data were collected to the theoretical saturation point through semi-structured interviews with 34 women.
Results: The analysis of the participants’ experiences indicated that a set of cultural factors and major developments such as individualism, changing values ​​and promoting alternative values, the absence of an authentic relationship, facilitating effects of technology and social media, changing women’s attitudes toward womanhood and its responsibilities, and diminution of religious and ideological beliefs play a role in the emergence and increase of extramarital relationships.
Conclusion: The development of extramarital relationships in women is not just an individual phenomenon but a process influenced by many factors. Therefore, the role of cultural and social factors in the formation and increase of these relationships should not be underestimated.



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Volume 11, Issue 1
April 2022
Pages 1-9
  • Receive Date: 15 May 2020
  • Revise Date: 29 October 2020
  • Accept Date: 14 November 2020
  • First Publish Date: 27 March 2022