Image of DNA strand, double-helix

Is cheating genetic?

By Anonymous July 18, 06:00 am
People with a certain 'cheating' gene variant are more likely to have casual sex and one-night stands – and to cheat on their partners.

It's all down to a gene which affects how much dopamine your brain produces, according to recent research.

Dopamine junkies

People with the ‘cheating’ version of the DRD4-gene are more likely to take risks because they get a bigger dopamine pay-off, the study's lead author Justin Garcia told Science Daily.

Dopamine is the 'pleasure chemical' that makes experiences like eating food and having sex feel so good.

People without the cheating gene variant might skydive, land, and be satisfied with the experience. People with the cheating variant immediately long to do it all over again.


Both groups have the same experience. But only the second group are thrill-seekers, driven to repeat the experience, again and again, to satisfy their cravings for dopamine.

This craving for dopamine might also explain why people with the ‘cheating’ variant of the DRD4-gene are more unfaithful to their partners even when they are wildly in love and claim to be totally committed to them.

'I just can’t help it'

Garcia points out that the study’s results don’t let cheaters off the hook for their bad behaviour. But it can explain their motivations.

Perhaps the most provocative finding is that there may be two different biochemical systems, one which keeps you faithful the other which pushes you to be unfaithful. And they both work at the same time. So when you hear 'I love you' but 'I just couldn’t help it' together, there may be some truth in it.

Do you think cheating is genetic? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook Love Matters Africa and Love Matters Naija.

Did you learn something new?

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 08:59 pm
Its quite true.I suffer from this. I have always been blessed with beautiful and faithful girlfriends. But i can't stop straying. Whats buffling is i dont stray for sex, its more like just for the thrill of it.
Hi Retteba, what you say is interesting, but please don't use this article to justify your behavior. You are still hurting your girlfriends by cheating on them. Just think what you would do if you found out they were cheating on you.
Tue, 12/09/2014 - 03:58 pm
to ma understanding 25% generic 75% personal character,coz in every family or community there mst be a person diff 4rm de rest..thx
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