While we are preconditioned to believe cheaters are tantamount to vermin, in reality some people might just have infidelity coded into their DNA ringing true the “once a cheater, always a cheater" theory.
A new video from AsapScience debunks the narrative that all cheaters are heartbreaking, manipulative snakes instead explaining that individuals can be genetically predisposed to cheat.
Humans are part of only 3 percent of mammals who mate for life. Yet despite this monogamous lifestyle, why do 22 percent of humans admit to having cheated on their partners?
The video explains that a combination of differing genetics and hormones results in some individuals’ waning loyalty.
"The gene coding for a dopamine receptor plays a key role in cheating for men and women," the narrator says in the video.
He then explains that 50 percent of those who possess the long allele version of the dopamine receptor have cheated on their partners compared to 22 percent of those with the short allele version. He noted that the long allele possessors also succumbed to risk-taking and addictive behaviors.
The hormone vasopressin, which affects trust, empathy and social bonding, also plays an important role. A 2014 study found that low levels of vasopressin may hinder a person’s ability to stay faithful.
The science behind infidelity, of course, does not excuse cheaters’ from taking responsibility for their actions. Yet understanding that some people are naturally predisposed to risk-taking behaviors like alcoholism and even possibly cheating can individuals take better precautions in controlling these genetic predispositions.