Promiscuity may be in the genes, at least in part. A study of promiscuity in the open-access journal PloS One showed a correlation between a history of one-night stands and infidelty and a variant of DRD4. Say, doesn't DRD4 sound familiar?
It should. The "promiscuity gene" has popped up in other recent stories, including a link between DRD4 and openness to new social situations and political liberalism as well as alcoholism, gambling, and a passion for horror films, according to CBS News.
How did the researchers compare sexual behavior and the "promiscuity gene?"
The study published in the open-access journal PloS One involved researchers gathering a detailed history of sexual behavior and relationships from 181 adults as well as DNA samples. The research was conducted at New York State University in Binghamton, NY.
When the researchers compared the DNA samples to the history of their test subjects, they found that people with the DRD4 variant were about twice as likely to report one-night stands and infidelity as those without it. Thrill-seeking with sex, in short.
How would thrill-seeking promiscuity genes work?
As noted, the DRD4 thrill-seeking gene variant now linked to promiscuity affects the system of pleasure and reward in the brain. The release of dopamine is the key.
But promiscuity being in the genes isn't why everyone who cheats does it. The respondents who don't have the thrill-seeking variant of DRD4 still slept around, just less often. And not everyone who has the "promiscuity gene" variant has risky sex, either.
Even if it's partially genetic, it doesn't change the fact that promiscuity can lead to anything from a string of broken hearts to a deadly disease. Of course, so can being sexually involved without cheating.
That said, "My promiscuity genes made me do it" is and will always be a cheap excuse for doing something stupid and lying about it, even if you get pleasure and reward in your brain for it thanks to the dopamine rush. Try getting into horror films instead if you can't help cheating. It might help.
Article Â©2010 Brenda Daverin for Gather.com. All rights reserved.