According to a recent analysis conducted by Gizmodo, the vast majority of female accounts on Ashley Madison were inactive, rendering these accounts as either fake or robots.
Gizmodo’s analysis of the Ashley Madison user database is quite shocking. Of Ashley Madison’s 31 million users, only 5.5 million were female accounts. And of these 5.5 million female accounts, only 9,700 women have ever responded to a message on the site. To break down the numbers even further, only 2,400 women had conversations with people on the site, and a mere 1,500 had ever even checked their messages regularly. But the vast majority of female profiles—close to zero percent—went unused after the day they were created.
The gender disparity on Ashley Madison was no secret even before the data leak. The website itself stated that there were more male than female users. Ashley Madison even included a clause in their terms of service that explained why some people may have been unable to find partners to hook up with in person—because some people were on the site “for entertainment” and weren’t seeking “in person meetings with anyone.” In effect, this clause helped explain to men the reason they may have experienced trouble finding women on the site who wanted to meet in person.
The disparity between male and female users of Ashley Madison seems to support the long-held belief that men cheat more than women. In a study conducted by Texas A&M University, researchers found that male sexual impulses were much stronger than those of women, which is a possible explanation towards the belief that more men carry out infidelity than women. The study found that both men and women have the same amount of self control, but when men choose not to exercise their self control, cheating occurs.
Ashley Madison made it extremely easy for men to choose not to exercise self control because all interactions occurred over the Internet and weren’t immediately considered “cheating” in the sense that nothing physical occurred. However, because of the societal myths that women are less inclined to cheat, and thus held fewer accounts on the infamous cheating website, most men were stuck paying for a cheating service hoping for, but often not getting any women with whom to cheat.
So, Ashley Madison lied about more than just deleted user information; they also lied to their millions of male users about the amount of female presence on their site. As new scandals associated to the website come to light, the CEO of Ashley Madison’s parent company, Avid Life Media Inc., has stepped down. Perhaps the lesson here is that anything that starts dishonestly will probably end dishonorably.