by Noreen C '12

Wired to Cheat?

You’ve probably heard the dark stories behind the steamy affairs of couples whether in shows like Gossip Girl where it has become part of the main story line, from friends, or even from being involved in a stormy relationship yourself. Well, it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel for those couples. In early September, a group of Swedish scientists discovered a gene variant which could be the answer to why some people stay faithful while others cheat in relationships.
Is this just another excuse or is it a fact? It is true that there are many reasons for people to cheat while in a relationship. However, studies have shown that men who possess this gene variant are twice as likely to have lower levels of satisfaction from their partner, higher risk of divorce, and more marital or relationship crises in the past as opposed to those who lack the gene variant. Having two copies of allele 334, instead of one, is the cause of four of every ten men’s infidelity. This may be part of the answer to why statistics show that 50% of all American marriages end in divorce.
Think of the situation this way: the relationship problems that men have will, from now on, be credited to their genetic make up, so it isn’t entirely their fault. However, that doesn’t mean that whenever a guy is caught cheating his new excuse should be “But baby, my genes made me do it!”
For those involved in a relationship, you are probably thinking one of the two: where could I get my partner tested for the variant of allele 334 or if you are a male, where could I get tested? This answer might be rather disappointing. The researchers who identified the variants of allele 334 do not suggest that it be used to predict an individual’s success or failure in a relationship. That leaves us with the old way of finding out if a guy is a cheater; wait till it happens, if it happens.
In your life, if a guy cheats you may want to set your priorities straight. If you believe in genetics, you will think twice about handing out second chances, now that you know cheating is in the genes. You will search for the clues, listen to the stories, looking to solve the mystery in the absence of a test. And one could always hope that genes will someday be changed.


By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher

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