Every single email address released in the Ashley Madison hack has its own story, whether it's a stolen identity, a bot or someone genuinely trying to cheat on their partner.

Several news outlets have reported that up to 95 per cent of the profiles on the site were male, and thousands of female profiles were fakes created to lure even more men into paying money to meet up with fantasy women to have an affair.

Annalee Newitz, editor-in-chief at tech blog Gizmodo, downloaded the data for herself and analysed it to discover how many women were really using the site, and this is what she found:

What I discovered was that the world of Ashley Madison was a far more dystopian place than anyone had realised. This isn’t a debauched wonderland of men cheating on their wives. It isn’t even a sadscape of 31 million men competing to attract those 5.5 million women in the database.

Instead, it’s like a science fictional future where every woman on Earth is dead, and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with badly-designed robots.

Out of the site's purportedly 5.5 million female users, tens of thousands did indeed appear to be fakes - and that was just accounts created on two computer systems associated with Ashley Madison.

But even out of the real accounts, when Newitz checked the data fields concerned with messaging, she found that only 1,492 that belonged to women had ever checked their message inbox.

That's in comparison to about two thirds of men (20.2 million accounts).

Around 2,400 women had chatted or replied to messages through pop up boxes, which explains the disparity in the figures, but overall, roughly zero per cent of Ashley Madison's real female users ever used it at all after creating their profiles.

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