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Genetic Causes of Infidelity

As a professor, I have been discussing the role that hormones and neurochemistry play in attraction, bonding and sexuality in my Human Sexuality class.  Brendon Zietsch, a psychologist in the University of Queensland in Australia says: “Women who carry certain variants of the vasopressin receptor gene are much more likely to engage in “extra pair bonding,” the scientific euphemism for sexual infidelity.”  There are many studies that confirm that oxytocin and vasopressin (hormones) are linked to partner bonding, which are directly correlated with the issue of promiscuity since emotional bonding is, in a sense, the inverse of promiscuity.  His study found five different variants of the vasopressin gene that significantly correlated with infidelity in women, not men.  There was no relationship between oxytocin and increased or decreased infidelity.

I am sure there is much more research to be done and this researcher as well as any other people who are in this work know that there are many other personal, relationship and environmental factors that could lead to infidelity.  Just because a woman may have one of the genetic variants of vasopressin that may predispose them to infidelity and less partner bonding does not mean she cannot make the choice to overcome her impulses.  It is just a more uphill battle for those women perhaps.

Do you know that there is a gene for predisposing to gum disease.  I have it.  What do I do?  I do great dental hygiene.  As a matter of fact I just had my cleaning appointment today and my teeth and gums are in excellent shape!!!

So, the point here is that we should not overlook the genetic vulnerabilities that people have and we are definitely not all equally vulnerable in any particular area of life.  However, we can still choose to overcome our own genetics to a great degree at times to live a better life, a more evolved life and a life that works for everyone involved.

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