Being unfaithful: Infidelity could be a genetic trait

Sexual Behavior and Genes

Remember these catchy lyrics from Rihanna’s popular track –

“And I know that he knows I’m unfaithful

And it kills him inside

To know that I am happy with some other guy

I can see him dying.”

This song draws the right picture of the people who are secretly betraying their partners. Two-timing or having an extramarital affair – these are some common things you come across nowadays.

But did you ever think infidelity could be in your blood?

How is sexual behavior influenced by genes?

Justin Garcia, an investigator and SUNY Doctoral Diversity Fellow at the State University of New York, conducted research to scrutinize how biological mechanisms determine infidelity. The findings of the study are published in the scientific journal named “PLoS ONE (Public Library of Science).”

The authors explained how sexual nature varies from one person to another by interviewing 181 young adults about love, relationships, and sexual behavior. The study suggested that there is a certain type of dopamine receptor gene – DRD4 (7R+) – that triggers infidelity, promiscuity, and an urge for one-night stands.


According to the study, around 77% of the interviewed people reported a history of sexual intercourse. Out of this figure, nearly 50% of people with 7R+ – a genetic variation of DRD4 had been cheating on their partner, while 22% of those people who did not have this genetic variation were unfaithful.

Gender has no prominent role to play in this variation because 26% of men and 23% of women in the group were found to possess the 7R+ genetic variation.

Garcia mentioned in a press release:

“The motivation seems to stem from a system of pleasure and reward, which is where the release of dopamine comes in. In cases of uncommitted sex, the risks are high, the rewards substantial, and the motivation variable – all elements that ensure a dopamine rush.”

People with a history of uncommitted sex

Monogamy and honest dating are no longer a thing! The research has unveiled that there is no possible cause-and-effect link between genetic characteristics and sexual responses. But it does provide evidence of how biology can act as a key participant in the way we behave and take decisions in our life.

The authors stressed on the fact that those individuals, who have had their parents or any other close relative with a past record of deceiving their companions, are likely to have this genotype and engage in these behaviors.

India stands on a high pedestal when it comes to infidelity rate

A recent survey has shown that infidelity is major concern in India, and it is because such cases are not only found in metro cities, but also in Tier 2 and 3 cities as well. What’s even more surprising is the fact that Bengaluru tops the list, followed by Mumbai, Kolkata, and Delhi.

Infidelity as a ‘social taboo’

The phenomenon has always existed in our cultural society for ages, but with the advent apps like Gleeden (extramarital dating platform), the term is now being aggressively attached with ladies.

In India, if men express their sexual desires and commit infidelity, they are forgiven, but when women open up about their sexual needs, they are considered sluts.

As the time is changing, fortunately, the conservative thinking of the society is also evolving. The insights of Gleeden app highlight the fact that women are also sexually adventurous and confident as men. There are 5 lakh Indians on Gleeden, out of which 30% are females. Other apps like Meetups, Instagram, and Facebook, also have similar kind of interested communities.

Sensation-seeking behavior affects other chronic problems

After knowing about the study, it is quite clear that infidelity can be hereditary. Besides, genetic variation is also linked to other activities, including alcoholism, gambling, and love for horror films.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.