The act of cheating may be explained scientifically, with the presence of a single gene determining if the woman is predisposed to infidelity.
While men may justify their unacceptable behavior by blaming it on the “biological urge to spread their seed,” women had nothing to say to defend their act of betraying the trust of her partner, until now. Recent research suggests women may also genetically inherit the impulse to cheat.
Scientists claim to have found one gene in particular that seems to be linked to a woman’s likelihood of being unfaithful. A study published late last year observed 7,400 sets of twins in Finland aged between 18 and 49 in long-term relationships. From the volunteers, 9.8 percent of men and 6.4 percent of women had secretly admitted that they had at least one affair within the last year.
Having compared the difference in the rates of cheating between identical twins, who share all their genes and non-identical twins who don’t, scientists observed that 63 percent of the variation in infidelity in men and 40 percent in women could be linked to genes, stated lead researcher Brendan Zietsch, from the University of Queensland in Australia.
“Isolating specific genes is more difficult because thousands of genes influence any behavior and the effect of any individual gene is tiny. But we did find tentative evidence for a specific gene influencing infidelity in women.”
So, who is the culprit responsible for pushing women to cheat? Essentially, the “cheating” gene works on a very primordial or subconscious level. Cheating is a culmination of an overpowering concoction of emotions like trust, empathy, and sexual bonding. Since these are exact feelings experienced in overwhelming promotions when one is in love or attracted to someone, it is quite plausible the gene would have some kind of effect on sexual behavior.
In women, the gene that fills a woman’s heart with these emotions that may “force” her to cheat is the vasopressin receptor gene. Incidentally, this gene appears to have no effect on promiscuity in men.
When vasopressin gets involved with other “feel good” hormones like dopamine and oxytocin, women are helpless and easily succumb to cheating. Interestingly, the very same phenomenon was observed between two closely related, but genetically different species of rodents, one of which was monogamous, while the other was highly sexually promiscuous.
The scientists have always maintained that sex has never been “just about” procreation. The act of cheating can be quite pleasurable as it triggers release of multiple hormones and activates the brain’s “reward circuit.” These senses and memories are enough to cause the person to cheat again, caution the scientists.
[Image Credit | Hannes Hepp / Getty Images]