The 'Slut Gene': Do You Have It?

Now there is something to blame your predilection for one-night stands and infidelity other than lust -- your genetic make-up.

Yep. A recent study shows that a particular version of a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4 is linked to people's tendency toward both cheating and one-night stands. That same gene is also responsible for gambling addiction, alcoholism and some nice things like love of horror movies and social openness, the latter of which leads to being liberal politically. 

The researchers gathered detailed sexual histories from 181 young adults and collected cheek swab samples looking for the presence of the "thrill-seeking version of DRD4."



What we found was that individuals with a certain variant of the DRD4 gene were more likely to have a history of uncommitted sex, including one-night stands and acts of infidelity," study researcher Justin Garcia, a postdoctoral fellow at Binghamton University, State University of New York, said in a statement.The motivation seems to stem from a system of pleasure and reward, which is where the release of dopamine comes in, Garcia said. In cases of uncommitted sex, the risks are high, the rewards substantial and the motivation variable — all elements that ensure a dopamine 'rush.

Fascinating. But the "thrill" of the one-night stand is lost on me, a person who loves horror movies, is liberal politically and loves to skydive, bungee jump, run insane distances and push myself to the limit.

I still don't see where one-night stands fit into that. After all, what is "thrilling" about risking safety by sleeping with a stranger? That seems more self-destructive than exciting.

Or maybe the two are one in the same. One could make the argument that any behavior where there is any risk constituites "thrill seeking." Obviously sleeping with a stranger, especially over and over holds its own risks. Think serial killers and syphilis. But to each their own, right?

I just hope that married people will not use this the same way Eric Benet and other celebrities use sex addition:

"Sorry honey, I cheated because I have DRD4." or "Don't blame me! Blame the DRD4."

We can still practice our own free will and make wise decisions that will not cause ourselves or the people we love harm. We can rise above our genetic predispositions.

Do you think this explains certain behaviors?


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