If you think your spouse would never cheat on you, then you should think twice. Apart from hiring someone to investigate an unfaithful spouse, recent research indicates that there may be a genetic component to cheating.
It’s More Common Than You Think
Although Americans detest infidelity, it is common in our society. According to a University of Chicago survey, up to 21 percent of married men have cheated on their wives, while 10 to 15 percent of women have cheated on their husbands (source). This type of data is consistent with other surveys, but keep in mind that these are just surveys. Even though confidentiality is assured, some people may be less inclined to answer the questions truthfully. This is especially true with women, who, even when it is an anonymous survey, have shown to be more discreet about their infidelity than men.
The Evolutionary Component
From birth, men are thought to be programmed to cheat because the message nature is sending to them is to create as many offspring as possible. The number of children a man can produce is only limited by the number of partners he can find. But this type of thinking has always been pure speculation. Researchers are only now beginning to look at the link between DNA and infidelity.
Looking for a Genetic Component
Because it is so common, researchers have often suspected that there may be some who are more likely to cheat than others based upon genetics. In fact, there have been some researchers who have gone to great efforts in attempting to uncover whether or not this is true. The problem, of course, is getting people who have cheated to come forward, and compare their DNA with those who have not cheated, but are in fact telling the truth.
In 2010 researchers at the State University of New York at Binghamton were able to take DNA samples and correlate surveys with the dopamine gene known as DRD4. Although the correlation was strong, the sample size was less than 200 adults. Hardly a big enough number to prove any significant findings.
A Larger Study
Last year researchers at the University of Queensland, Australia, were able to study over 7,000 Finnish twins. Each subject had been in a relationship for a least one year and claimed to have cheated on their spouse. The test subjects had their DNA analyzed specifically for the receptor genes known as vasopressin and oxytocin, which regulate social behavior. Amazingly enough, a correlation was found between the gene vasopressin and infidelity in approximately 40 percent of those tested. Although there is much to be learned, research indicates that there may be a genetic component to a cheating spouse.
As it stands, there is no sure way to determine if your spouse is or will cheat on you through the use of genetic testing. Perhaps some day couples will want to take a DNA test to check for infidelity before they get married, but no one can predict infidelity. If you suspect your husband or wife is cheating on you, it may be time to hire a professional firm like ours to investigate.