Skip Nav
This Glitter-Filled Wedding Had Such a Sweet Surprise For the Color-Blind Groom
7 Sizzling Summer Books For Every Romance Reader
50 Heart Tattoos So Cute You Can't Handle It

The Cheating Gene

Bad Genes: Promiscuity and Fidelity Are in Our DNA

We could debate why people cheat longer than we dissected what exactly counts as cheating, and now a new study has added another lame excuse: the tendency to cheat is genetically predetermined.

The same gene linked to alcoholism, gambling, and thrill-seeking makes people more likely to cheat and have one-night stands. It's all related to a system of pleasure and reward that releases the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. Essentially, the higher the risk, the greater the reward, which in this case is pleasure.

But as the New York Times point outed earlier this year, fidelity takes work whether you're prone to straying or not. In fact, practice even makes faithful. Another study found men who practiced resisting temptations in virtual reality were better at resisting it in real life.

Join The Conversation
danakscully64 danakscully64 6 years
"This is why I always think it's strange when people choose not to have kids. That's what we're programed for: one thing, that's it." No, not true. Not everyone is programmed to want leeching, screaming, smelly children who vomit and disrupt their sleep :P There are many people out there who don't even want sex. As PostModern said, humans have lots of emotions that affect our wants (most other animals do too, they can feel anger, jealousy, etc, but can't vocalize it). My emotions and preferences prevent me from sleeping around. I have no desire to do so. I wasn't even brought up in a super strict environment were sex was "sinful" or anything like that, that's just how I feel. Even if Polygamy was normal and accepted, I wouldn't want it. I'm a Monogamous type of girl. Having a "cheating gene" doesn't give anyone a free pass to do whatever. My soon to be ex-BIL has cheated on every girl he's been with, including his 2 wives. Does that mean his behavior is okay? Nope. He shouldn't be in monogamous relationships if he wants to sleep around. That's what it comes down to.... don't want to be faithful? Don't get married, don't get into a monogamous relationship. Cheaters drive me crazy.
zeze zeze 6 years
Where is this picture from?
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
You can't base human behavior on pure biology alone. Humans also have complex emotions that other animals do not. So... hopefully cheaters won't see this and run around saying they can't help it because it's genetic. And hopefully I won't have to add "boring, non thrill-seeker" to my list of qualifications in a mate!
lickety-split lickety-split 6 years
Nature only cares that the species continues. That means sex. Call it what you want to, but biologically we are here to procreate. Staying faithful is not helpful to this end. Lots of sex with lots of partners is what will get the job done. This is why I always think it's strange when people choose not to have kids. That's what we're programed for: one thing, that's it. How do you not swim upstream?? Anyway, guessing we all have (to some degree) to need/desire to seek sex outside of our primary relationship just by virtue of being human.
Are Fitness Trackers Accurate at Counting Calories?
Megan Couto Becomes First Woman to Captain the Queen's Guard
Samantha Bee on Child Marriage in the US
Songs About Cheating
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds