Is Cheating Genetic? Researchers Say Yes

December 6, 2010 at 1:00 pm

A recent study conducted by the State University of New York at Binghamton suggests that those who cheat and sleep around could, in fact, be genetically predisposed to the behavior. The study linked a specific genetic variation with infidelity – the same genetic variation, apparently, which has also been linked with “alcohol consumption, gambling, a love of horror films, and openness to new social situations.” The Huffington Post reports:

In looking at potential biological mechanisms for sexual pursuits outside of a union, Justin Garcia and his team of researchers interviewed 181 participants about their sexual behavior and relationships, in addition to taking cheek samples of their DNA. Findings indicate that, regardless of gender, those with a DRD4 genetic variation – 7R+ – were likelier to be promiscuous, as in one-night stand, or to cheat on their spouse, with 50 percent of them having been unfaithful (vs. 22 percent of the participants who did not have this genetic variation)…

While nobody should mistake these findings as a cause-and-effect relationship between one’s sexual behavior and genes, the research does raise the question of just how much human behavior – and moral decision-making – is due to one’s genetics. With brain chemistry appearing to play a role in one’s ability to commit, as with the Swedish study, people are sure to ask if potential partners should take a marriage-worthy test in weeding out those who might be thrill-seekers of the unapproved sort.

What do you think – is cheating really encoded into our genes? And can we expect the excuse “it’s just my genes, honey” in the near future?

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13 Responses to “Is Cheating Genetic? Researchers Say Yes”

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  1. guest July 14, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    * I meant current husband. Sorry about that mistake.


  2. guest July 14, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Yes, I think that there are people biologically predisposed to desire multiple sexual partners. This can be attributed to a persona’s tendency for risk-taking or tendency to veer toward polyamory. However, because of society’s desire for a monogamous culture, people with these tendencies end up cheating because of their biological impulses. I am actually one of those people learning to cope with these tendencies. I was genuinely surprised when I learned that some people desire to be with one person without any tendency to stray. I cheated and slept with multiple partners before my previous husband. Even now, I struggle with feelings and desires for others. But my learned behaviors took over and we have been completely monogamous with no cheating. I think that cheaters and people with cheating tendencies are so shocking to people because they have never experienced tendencies and do not understand what it’s like. It’s not simply a desire to be with the most attractive person possible. It’s just like some people have homosexual tendencies or asexual tendencies. There are polyamorous communities. I could be in a polyamorous relationship if I wanted to be. However, this is what I chose. And if it goes against my nature, I will cope through learned behaviors. If anyone wants to have a serious discussion about desires (that do not involve put-downs or name-calling), I would be happy to talk. I like to hear about others’ stories and desires as well. It puts things into perspective.


  3. tanya August 31, 2012 at 10:31 am

    i keep seeing some off yall post how yall was exposed to different thing but yall didnt take up on those things EVERYBODY IS NOT THE SAME..just because u escaped from it doesnt mean the next person did….


  4. nathen July 31, 2012 at 5:57 am

    Cheating is absolutesly come from genes because I know a family has 10 chindren, they all cheat and take advantages from sincere people. They never say the truth and they pretent to others people they are sincere ;however, they act and betray many good people. I do not know how to why they cheat ?


  5. Kathleen Guarino February 15, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I think cheating is just plain wrong, though i am guilty of it once….when you suspect your spouse has or know in fact they did but stand there and lie to your face by denying, that is bad, then yes that is why I did it, then i eneded the relationship..I think that if you are going to be with someone else then you need to man up and quit the relationship you are in first, like I say make a fool out of me will be the last thing you would want to do, because I will surely make sure you hurt in a way you never thought you could hurt…cheating and lying is wrong, disrespecting you partner or spouse is definaley wrong, if you do not want to look foolish having your significant other cheat on you and then lie, then don’t dare even if you think you got away with it ever do it to them. If you cannot be faithful then get out of the relationship.


  6. robbin1210 December 8, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Just another excuse to cheat. I have cheating in my family but I’ve never done it. In fact, the cheating I witnessed caused me to vow never to cheat. I wish people would simply take responsibility for their own actions instead of trying to blame everything they do on other people or genetics.

  7. Jacqueline
    Jacqueline December 7, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    One thing I would like to add, too often I believe traits and characteristics is a learned behavior, behaviors is passed down from generation to generation.

    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

  8. Carmen Hexe
    Carmen Hexe December 7, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Yep, I am with Gina Rose. Genetics mean one might be predisposed to act in a certain way, or like certain things; i.e. addiction is usually passed on genetically.

    Beauty of being human is having free will. I am genetically wired to be both, a cheater and an alcoholic/addict. I chose neither.

  9. Gina Rose ext.9500
    Gina Rose ext.9500 December 7, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Nice article…however….
    …..I’ve come across too many people that use genetics, or this, or that,… as a crutch. I see this in working with the people referred to me by mental health professionals all the time.

    Knowing about your genetic make-up is useful, especially as it pertains to health, including mental health predispositions…..but in the end, we all have the ability to rise above our genetic background and our baggage, no matter what the baggage is in our past,… to create the life we want and to be happy.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500


  10. maryannex9146 December 7, 2010 at 12:55 am

    I’ve always loved horror movies, but I must say I agree with my colleagues—my free will and personal values don’t see cheating as an option for me. It would be unfortunate for anyone to feel they might be genetically forced to cheat…..

    Maryanne
    X9146

  11. misskrystal
    misskrystal December 6, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    oops sorry- will power is the key for all of us to stick to what is best for us.
    miss krystal

  12. misskrystal
    misskrystal December 6, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Remember, it is our standards, morals and values that make a person who they really are.

    Every human is capable of free will. So will power is the key for all of us to stick what it for best for us.

    Thank you for the article.
    Miss Krystal

  13. Jacqueline
    Jacqueline December 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Hello Dione,
    Very thought provoking article, but I must say, it is ultimately your decision on whether or not one acts upon them, remember there may be genetic influences in many facets of our life, such as lying, stealing, cheating, aggression, whether it is in our genetics or not, bottom line is that, there may be genetic influences, but it is up to you on whether or not you choose to act upon them.

    Having self control can be the hardest, but yet the most rewarding trail to acquire.

    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

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