Monday, September 29, 2008

A Monogamy Gene!? You Can do Better than That!

Wouldn't you love to know if the guy you're dating is a commitment-phobe? Or whether he is apt to cheat on you after you've devoted 10 years to raising his kids?

Well, men don't run around with a giant C (for Cheater) on their foreheads. Don't you wish they did!?

But scientists in Sweden have discovered the next best thing: A monogamy gene.

Men with certain variations of this gene have a harder time bonding with their women, leaving them likely to stray or create chaos at home.

A genetic test isn't available quite yet.

But if it were:

Would you want your man to take the test?

If you are a man, would you want to take the test to find out if you have the errant gene?

What difference would it make if you did know?

If you've got a bad gene, is that a good excuse???? "But Honey, my genes made me do it!"

BTW- Paul Newman probably had the good version of the gene (see previous post)! Shaquille O’Neal, not so much.

DateSmart Tip: Until we do have a genetic test, remember that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

To check your dating partner's cheating quotient be sure to ask three questions, early on in the getting-to-know-you stage:

1. Have you ever cheated in a relationship? How many times?

A serial cheater is highly likely to cheat again. Don't make the mistake of thinking, "I can change them. They'll be faithful to me!"

2. When do you think cheating is acceptable in a relationship?

In my dissertation research, I found that lenient attitudes toward infidelity predicted who would cheat in a dating relationship. Bottom Line: If you think it's excusable, you are more likely to do it.

3. Did either of your parents ever cheat?

We learn how to love at home. If you saw this going on with your parents, you're either apt to NEVER cheat, or think you can get away with it.

Want to read the full article about the Monogamy Gene from

Share your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting, but why the bias of only men cheating? Are not women also capable of cheating? I do believe, though that men and women are not exactly the same in this respect, but let's acknowledge that women too, can and do cheat. Looking forward to more good posts Dr. J!
Mark Caron

Dr. Jenn said...

Mark- thanks for your comment. Yes, of course women cheat! All those men cheating are cheating with a women! :) But, anyway, the genetic study was on men- hence our focus here. Yes, let's acknowledge that all of us are at risk. Even people who are happily married are at risk. Tho men and women often cheat for different reasons. Keep those comments coming Mark!