Infidelity playing the genetic card

Published on General news  |  November 26, 2014, 11:06

Infidelity may result from many reasons, mostly social and economic in nature, but genetic reasons could be added to the list, according to new research.

Scientists at the University of Queensland in Australia claim that infidelity may be handed down by parents and grandparents via a specific gene.

Researchers examined data from 7,300 twins between 18 and 49 years old who were all in steady, long-term relationships. Even though they benefited from being in relationships, 9.8 percent of the men from the study and 6.4 percent of the women admitted to having at least two sexual partners over the course of the preceding year.

Additionally, scientists have identified a single gene which has variations which make women more likely to commit adultery. If you are going through relationship problems you can get professional advice by asking a doctor.

Dr Brendan Zietsch, leader of the study and research fellow at the university's school of psychology, said: "Our research clearly shows that people's genetic make-up influences how likely they are to have sex with someone outside their main partnership.

Because only identical twins share all of their genes, it meant that genes could be identified in those who have been unfaithful.

"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. More research will be needed to confirm this finding," Zietsch said.

A comparison revealed that 63 percent of the infidelity by men could be linked to a genetic marker. In women it was 40 percent. Another finding is that women with certain variations in a gene called AVPRIA were more likely to be unfaithful. The gene is involved in production of the hormone arginine vasopressin which is known to be involved in the regulation of social behavior.

The results support previous studies which found that people who were unfaithful in one relationship are likely to be unfaithful in the next.


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