Are we more likely to cheat on our partners if our parents were unfaithful?

According to the results of a new study, this appears to be the case for two-thirds of women whose mothers had affairs.

Around a third of participants (32 percent) said they felt their mother's infidelities had given them "permission" to stray, because the behaviour runs in the family and would not come as a surprise.

Men were also found to be more likely to cheat if their fathers had done so, but not to quite the same extent as women.

Just over half of unfaithful men (52 percent) said their dads had cheated.

This has led researchers over at illicitencounters, who conducted the survey, to suggest there may be a "cheating gene" which runs in families.

And there's one woman who definitely believes it exists.

Gweneth Lee, claims to have had affairs with more than 100 married men over the last decade - three quarters of whom had parents who had cheated.

The 47-year-old from Chelsea, West London, said: "Cheating runs in the family.

"Sons or daughters of cheats fear the disapproval of their parents far less because they know they have been unfaithful too.

Gweneth claims to have had affairs with over 100 married men

"One of the men I have been seeing is a wealthy banker from Cambridge whose mother has been married three times.

"He grew up with her dating a succession of different men and that affected his behaviour as he got older.

"His mother is aware that he cheats on his wife and they have kept the secret between themselves. She told him, 'Well, I can hardly start lecturing you after the way I've behaved.’

"Another of my lovers is a guy in his 30s whose parents were both unfaithful throughout his teenage years and while he was at university. It suited them to stay together while seeing other people.

"He is married and cannot stay faithful. He said that the idea of sticking with one person for 50 years seemed pretty boring after he had seen how much fun his parents were having. His wife has cheated on him, too - and both her parents were adulterers. I guess cheats attract other cheats - so they both know what to expect."

Gweneth began seeing married men following the death of her husband Robert.

She says many of her female friends are also unfaithful - and had mothers who were cheats.

"Some of them tell their mums all about their affairs. They have a good gossip about it," she adds.

"In some cases, their mothers are still having affairs anyway – so they are sharing tips on how to keep them secret."