While we may view cheating as a flaw in someone’s character, a recent AsapSCIENCE video suggests our likelihood to cheat is actually more closely related to our DNA.
Humans are classified as part of only 3 percent of monogamous mammals, or mammals that stay with one sexual partner for life, but cheating is still very much a common occurrence. One commonly cited study on this practice is one conducted by sex researcher Shere Hite in her bestseller, The Hite Report. According to The Washington Post, Hite found that as many as 70 percent of married women and 72 percent of married men had cheated on their spouses at some point in their marriage. While more recent research has found these numbers to be smaller, the fact remains that many people cheat.
According to AsapSCIENCE, our likelihood to cheat is actually written in the coding for our dopamine receptors, also known as the “happy hormone.” For example, about 50 percent of individuals who posses the long allele variant of this hormone have confessed to cheating at some point in their lives, compared to only 22 percent of individuals who possess the short allele variant. Individuals with this long variant are also more likely to engage in risky behavior and deal with substance abuse.
Another hormone related to cheating is vasopressin. This hormone is released when we come into close physical contact with others and is found in smaller amounts in individuals who have social development issues, such as those with autism.
With that being said, biology is not the only factor that plays a role in our likelihood to stray. Factors such as the amount of money both spouses earn, emotional problems, and alcohol abuse are all known to affect the chances of cheating. Ultimately, however, although our hormones do help to control our behavior, at the end of the day, only you can make the final decision whether or not to stay faithful.