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Is Sexual Infidelity Genetic?

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Is Sexual Infidelity Genetic?

Serial cheaters and randy bachelors often seem deeply unable to stay monogamous; could there be scientific proof to their claims that they “just can’t help it”? According to a new study out from Binghamton University, the propensity for infidelity might possibly be blamed on DNA.

The team of researchers led by Justin Garcia, a SUNY Doctoral Diversity Fellow in the laboratory of evolutionary anthropology and health at Binghamton University, compared choices in sexual behavior with genes. The resulting new theory is that the dopamine receptor D4 polymorphism, or DRD4 gene, may lead to choices about sexual activity. It is the same gene that has been linked to sensation-seeking behavior such as alcohol use and gambling–it is able to influence the brain’s chemistry and thus, behavior.

“We already know that while many people experience sexual activity, the circumstances, meaning and behavior is different for each person,” said Garcia. “Some will experience sex with committed romantic partners, others in uncommitted one-night stands. Many will experience multiple types of sexual relationships, some even occurring at the same time, while others will exchange sex for resources or money. What we didn’t know was how we are motivated to engage in one form and not another, particularly when it comes to promiscuity and infidelity.”

They conducted the study by collecting detailed histories of 181 young adults, and comparing it with samples of their DNA. The team was able to determine that individual differences in sexual behavior seemed to be influenced by individual genetic variation.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

125 comments

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1:40AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

thanks

10:14AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

thnx

6:09AM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

Thanks for the article.

11:46PM PST on Feb 9, 2012

interesting article and comments!

11:45PM PST on Feb 9, 2012

interesting article and comments!

9:54PM PST on Feb 9, 2012

Ya, it's genetic and hormonal. Some people are born with a high Testosterone output. That's the horny hormone. It's not really necessary to do exhaustive studies on this. It's more important to deal with the social consequences. There has been too much sexual repression by religions for centuries causing too much rape and mental instability. Celibacy in the Catholic church was one of the more insane ideas they instituted. Prostitution should be legalized everywhere. Sex should be dealt with in a realistic manner. There should be real sex education in schools, not the stupid "abstinence" BS. The above study is just another faked up study with a small sampling and it's skewed and totally worthless.

4:17PM PST on Jan 12, 2012

Yes genetic..inherently human across the board.."social engineering" is the sickness that grows and grows..highly profitable to the IRS brain dead clones..BOO..hand over yer cash slaves..and you DO..????

12:47PM PST on Jan 12, 2012

For some reason, this made me wonder about those scientists' private lives, I mean...what if they are into adultery and infidelity and now just want to find an excuse for themselves? :/

7:20AM PDT on Mar 28, 2011

The urge may exist - but one need not act on it. That is what separates us from animals.

4:55PM PST on Feb 15, 2011

What a beautiful excuse to give for all the liars/cheaters out there !

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