Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Is cheating on your spouse caused by genetics?
Why do some men and women cheat on their partners while others resist the temptation? We have thought all this time that the answer was located on individual will and degrees of individual sexual motivations....can it be determined by other variables?
A new body of research focuses on the "science of commitment." Scientists are studying everything from the biological factors that seem to influence marital fidelity to a person’s psychological response after flirting with a stranger.
Recent studies have raised questions about whether genetic factors may influence commitment and marital stability. Hasse Walum, a biologist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, studied 552 sets of twins to learn more about a gene related to the body’s regulation of the brain chemical vasopressin, a bonding hormone.
Over all, men who carried a variation in the gene were less likely to be married, and those who had wed were more likely to have had serious marital problems and unhappy wives. Among men who carried two copies of the gene variant, about a third had experienced a serious relationship crisis in the past year, double the number seen in the men who did not carry the variant.
If there was such an easy explanation, like genetic predisposition, why do we humans see cheating as a moral issue? This is interesting research, but we need to know more to be able to leave cheaters off the moral obligation they violated, right?