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Your Cheatin' Heart? More Like Your Cheatin' Brain.

Some people cheat on their partners. Others wouldn’t dream of it–the risk is too huge. A new video from ASAP Science lays out how genetic differences in the neurotransmitters that promote risk-taking and social bonding might influence people’s willingness to stray.

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And while the video focuses on “extra-pair matings” in humans, it’s worth pointing out that the behavior isn’t unique to us: biologists have found that lots of other animals that appear monogamous–from splendid fairy wrens and indigo buntings to tree shrews and the convict cichlid fish–are also getting a little on the side.

[ASAP Science]


Contact the author at diane@io9.com.

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DISCUSSION

synthozoic
synthozoic

Well, based on purely annecdotal evidence, I’m pretty sure I’ve got an abundance of short allele dopamine receptors in my brain.

  • Never a risk taker.
  • No addictions
  • Easily frustrated, diverting into procrastination

Don’t know about my vasopressin processing mechanisms in my brain. When I was 5 or 6, back in 1969, a psychiatrist diagnosed me with high function autism but, that was 1969. I always felt like that diagnosis was wrong. It’s not I don’t pick up on social cues, if anything, it really feels like I’m hypersensitive to them.

Anyway, back to the subject, I never understood the payoff or attraction to the whole idea of cheating. It just seems like stupidly dangerous behavior to engage in. Why do that when you can just go home, lie in your bed and wack off to someone who turned your crank earlier that day? Tension released, you can get on with your life. Why actually fuck your life up and go have sex with them?

I mean I guess I understand that people have reasons. But the reasons never seemed good enough to me.