The genteel city of Cambridge, long associated with its world-famous university, punts on the Cam and more recently as a centre of new technology, has been revealed as the UK city with the highest proportion of residents registered with infidelity website Ashley Madison.
According to an analysis of data hacked by a group calling itself the Impact Team, more than 5,000 people – one in 20 adults – in the city are registered with Ashley Madison, of which 90% are men. Senior academics from Cambridge University are among those who have had their details published online.
The revelations - published in today's Sunday Times – follows on the heels of a similar report three years ago which named Cambridge as the most sexually liberated place in the UK. ForgetDinner.co.uk. conducted a poll which found residents of the city were most likely to play out sexual fantasies and to cheat on their partners if they thought they could get away with it. The city's Craigslist pages are loaded with singles and couples seeking no strings attached sex.
Theories as to why Cambridge should be a hotbed of marital infidelity abound, with some suggesting the fact that a high proportion of residents being academics or "nerdy" technicians offers a clue. Others suggest that the fact the city has a high number of temporary residents, many of them away from home for long periods. Another suggestion is that the city is so dull that for many of its bored residents, having an affair is simply a way of passing the time.
Overall 1.2 million Britons are listed as having accounts with Ashley Madison, whose chief executive Noel Biderman stepped down last week in the wake of the security breach. Parent company Avid Life Media faces compensation claims totalling hundreds of millions of dollars from people who registered with the site. At least two members of Ashley Madison are thought to have committed suicide after being exposed by the hack.