Most people can agree that cheating is righteously wrong, yet still, a big percentage of people cheat. So what leads them to such behavior? Is cheating hereditary? And why do they usually not stop cheating and continue doing so in other relationships? While some people might cheat when in an unhappy relationship, others might be more likely to cheat because of their genes.
Definition of Cheating in a Relationship
46% of people shared that they’ve had an affair while being in a relationship, according to the survey conducted by Health Testing Centers. This infidelity statistics is quite alarming. There is a structured list of things that are considered cheating. Ultimately, it comes down to the relationship and mutual boundaries set by the two partners.
Here are the four main types of cheating:
- Physical Cheating. This can include any type of physical touch, starting with a dance to making out or having sex.
- Emotional Cheating. Emotional cheaters channel their thoughts, energy, time, and attention to someone other than their partner.
- Digital Cheating. Online conversations are everywhere now, and as long as they aren’t secretive, flirtatious, or with intimate photo attachments, they won’t be considered cheating.
- Micro-cheating. These types of micro-cheaters tend to eagerly engage with others rather than their partners.
Can Cheating Be Genetic
Is there a relationship between genetics and sexual behavior? Probably yes; that’s what many call the “infidelity gene”. However, if there is no gene responsible for a cheater’s behavior, what is the root cause? Well, just like with most of your behaviors within a society, cheating can be picked up from your parents, friends, family, and environment.
What Genes Can Influence the Decision to Cheat in a Relationship?
Researchers from the State University of New York in Binghamton have found a certain gene linked to a sensation-seeking behavior that cheaters carry. This dopamine receptor gene is called DRD4; it’s associated with behaviors with a reward and good feelings, like infidelity.
Researcher Justin Garcia has stated that “What we found was that individuals with a certain variant of the DRD4 gene were more likely to have a history of uncommitted sex, including one-night stands and acts of infidelity. The motivation seems to stem from a system of pleasure and reward, which is where the release of dopamine comes in.”
What Mental Disorders Can Lead to Adultery?
Compulsive cheating disorder is a term used to refer to chronic infidelity. A person with this disorder is addicted to sex and can become a serial cheater. Another mental disorder that can lead to cheating is Narcissistic Personality Disorder, where one is manipulative and self-absorbed. These types of a narcissist have high self-esteem; they think they are better than everyone else, which in their minds gives them the right to cheat.
Can Cheating Be “Absorbed” from Your Environment?
Cheating can totally be picked up from your environment, whether that would be from the cheating parent or a friend group that has a big influence on you and your actions and encourages such behaviors.
Is Sex Addiction Hereditary?
Unfortunately, very little research has been done on whether sex addiction or hypersexual disorder is hereditary. Based on a detailed description of this type of disorder, we can state that sex addiction in adulthood is mostly associated with childhood traumas and abuse from a young age.
There was research conducted by scientists from Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden that may have identified certain biological mechanisms that play an important role in evoking hypersexual disorder. However, the researchers state that more investigations need to be performed to prove the role of the changes in DNA connected to the hypersexual disorder.
Will a DNA Test for Cheating Spouse Help?
If you’re suffering from paranoia or intrusive thoughts, you can order a DNA test to find out whether your suspicions or rumors you’ve heard are true. There are many professional laboratories that offer various types of infidelity DNA testing, which can confirm or deny the suspicions you may have regarding your partner.
You can bring unexplained stains on sheets with signs of sexual activity as a reference sample, for example, to check whether the DNA matches yours. The DNA test for cheating may confirm that the DNA analyzed does or does not belong to you or your partner.
What Do Scientific Studies Say About Infidelity Gene?
So is there a cheating gene? We already mentioned one of the most prominent studies performed by researchers at Binghamton University, which is the most relevant to identifying the so-called “cheating gene”.
This research found that having a specific kind of DRD4 gene gives you a higher inclination to cheat. This also means that the person with this gene is more likely to cheat compared to a person without it. However, scientists also note that even though people with this “thrill-seeking” gene, DRD4, may be seeking various stimuli, it does not mean the influence of this gene is so strong that they will act on their desires.
The lack of scientific evidence and further research makes claims that cheating is genetic unreasonable and exaggerated. The presence of this gene doesn’t necessarily mean people will act on their impulses and cheat.
The author of the popular book Infidelity: A Survival Guide, Don-David Lusterman, Ph.D., says that people who cheat usually suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder. Mental disorders may be one of the main aspects influencing a person’s infidelity behavior.
The Research Is Based on
Here are the resources used for compiling this article:
- WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/news/20101201/is-infidelity-genetic
- PLOS: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0014162
- PsychCentral: https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-common-is-cheating-infidelity-really#statistics
- Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316592801_Methylation_of_Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal_Axis_Related_Genes_in_Men_with_Hypersexual_Disorder
- World Health Organization: https://icd.who.int/browse11/l-m/en#/http://id.who.int/icd/entity/1630268048