Here's a topic for discussion: is there a cheater gene? A new study suggests that the urge to be unfaithful could be hereditary. Scientists observed 1,500 female zebra finches, a species of birds that mates for life, and noticed that those who strayed from the norm had male ancestors who also got a little somethin' somethin' on the side. The analysts suggest that the female cheaters carried a DNA variation that was passed down through their cheating male forefathers.
This is great news. One, we can (still) blame everything on men, and two, if this does apply to humans, I can't wait for the inevitable Cheater-DNA take-home test. "Just pee on the stick, Sweetie! What's that? Oh! No reason."
I'm just going to skip over the part where I question how relevant a study of finches is to our human love lives and instead I'll dive in head first. Say we could isolate a cheater gene. What would our world be like? It might turn into a classic sci-fi fantasy novel in which there are two worlds, alike in appearance, but separate in ideals, and living on top of each other.
Maybe we could all have eyeball scanners in addition to pee sticks, and whenever we meet a guy, we could give them a quick little test to see if they are carriers of the unfaithful gene. We'd be able to weed through the bad guys in no time! In fact, "bad guys" is a misnomer. They're not bad, they're different. They're just not what most monogamous women are looking for. The cheaters, male and female, could all hang out together, getting down and dirty, not hurting anyone's feelings. And those without the gene mutation could live loyal love lives with their equally committed partner in holy matrimony.
Maybe we'd be separated by hemispheres over time: cheaters to the west, non-cheaters to the east. Then of course we'd have a war at some point. That's only natural. I wonder who'd win, though. The cheaters might have an edge since they might be more aggressive because they're used to seeking out partners, while the non-cheaters might be better at working together and coming up with solutions as a team. It's a toss-up!
We've probably got some significant time before we can get a pee test to determine who is pre-disposed to be faithful and who is pre-disposed to cheat, but I call Eastern hemisphere for the non-cheaters. I'm not good with moving.
What are your thoughts on the study?
Photo via jurvetson/Flickr