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Is Committing Adultery Genetic?

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One of the first questions likely asked by a person who has been cheated on is "WHY?" According to a new survey, we may be closer to finding out the answer to that question in the general sense. Women Are More Likely To Cheat If They Had Cheating Mothers, Survey Finds, by Taryn Hillin, May 6, 2014,

A recent survey by an extra-marital dating site in Britain (yes, apparently there are extra-marital dating sites!) found that 73% of women who admitted to having an affair had mothers who had also committed adultery. Further, 62% of those same women said that their mother's adultery played a direct role in their decision to cheat on their spouse. The trend held true for men as well - 54% of men polled said their father's affairs "made them more comfortable with adultery in their own relationships." So, are people just learning from and following the ways of their parents? Or is there an actual genetic link?

Turns out it could be either answer. There is a gene possessed by some people called the DRD4 gene - also known as the "thrill-seeking gene." A study by researchers at Binghampton University and State University of New York (SUNY) found that half of all people have a certain variant of this gene that makes them more vulnerable to promiscuity and cheating. According to the lead investigator, those with the gene variant "were more likely to have a history of uncommitted sex, including one night stands and acts of infidelity."

It is important to remember that, while the above factors may make people more vulnerable to committing adultery, in the end it is a personal choice. If you have a parent who cheated on a spouse, don't use it as an excuse to exercise the same negative behaviors. If you feel vulnerable to cheating on your spouse or significant other, it may be helpful to speak with a professional who can help you work through these issues and, hopefully, save your relationship.

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