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One Night Stands May Be Genetic

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the getting-in-your-genes dept.

Medicine 240

An anonymous reader writes "So, he or she has cheated on you for the umpteenth time and their only excuse is: 'I just can't help it.' According to researchers at Binghamton University, they may be right. The propensity for infidelity could very well be in their DNA. In a first of its kind study, a team of investigators led by Justin Garcia, a SUNY Doctoral Diversity Fellow in the laboratory of evolutionary anthropology and health at Binghamton University, State University of New York, has taken a broad look at sexual behavior, matching choices with genes and has come up with a new theory on what makes humans 'tick' when it comes to sexual activity. The biggest culprit seems to be the dopamine receptor D4 polymorphism, or DRD4 gene. Already linked to sensation-seeking behavior such as alcohol use and gambling, DRD4 is known to influence the brain's chemistry and subsequently, an individual's behavior."

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First post, for the umpteenth time (3, Funny)

cgomezr (1074699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464626)

I just can't help it.

Re:First post, for the umpteenth time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464658)

It's genetic. I bet all your ancestors posted first too.

Re:First post, for the umpteenth time (0)

potat0man (724766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464700)

ooooh, so being a selfish-prick is in some people's genes. Who'd have thought?

Re:First post, for the umpteenth time (3, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465092)

Richard Dawkins? [wikipedia.org]

Re:First post, for the umpteenth time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34465644)

That's not what the title of that book means. It means that the genes are selfish, they act for their own sakes, not the sake of the organism. It isn't meant to imply that there is a gene for causing humans to be selfish.

Re:First post, for the umpteenth time (4, Insightful)

jcaldwel (935913) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465808)

This gene may be a good example of a "selfish gene." People who are promiscuous would tend to pass on their genes more frequently.

Figures (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464954)

Tell me, is it also normal for all your one night stands to take $400 out of your wallet as they sneak out of the room when you're in the shower? Because that always happens to me. ;(

Re:Figures (2)

travisco_nabisco (817002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465588)

They wouldn't stay all night if you just paid them after the act was done.

Re:First post, for the umpteenth time (4, Insightful)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465148)

So, he or she has cheated on you for the umpteenth time and their only excuse is: 'I just can't help it.'

If he or she is getting anywhere near "the umpteenth time" it's not a them problem, it's a you problem. If it happens once, forgiveness is certainly acceptable. If it happens twice forgiveness starts to become questionable. If it happens a third time, what the hell are you still doing with this person? Send them packing for Christ's sake.

Obviously this argument is based on the assumption that you have a moral objection to your significant other sleeping with other people. If not, then cheerio mate, say hello to your wife for me.

Re:First post, for the umpteenth time (2)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465832)

This is why I am divorced. I can forgive once, but any more then that shows a lack of respect for me (and our children) I now have the kids, house, and child support, and she has her new husband. All this in a state that usually shafts the man.

LIttle comfort (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464632)

Somehow telling my wife, "Hey, it's in my DNA, I just can't help it!" doesn't make her any less pissed off...

And actually, these are very desirable genes, since they apparently also make you a world class football player, basketball player, soccer star, or golfer!

Re:LIttle comfort (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464776)

It seems like it would be the opposite, since as a strong male with leadership traits the women would naturally flock to you, whereas a male that needs to seek out lots and lots of mates would typically be one that women wouldn't naturally be drawn to as a "good match". Of course, maybe what we're seeing there is just the natural tendency to say "yes" as a desirable man when lots of women desire it.

Of course, you still have a damn brain, so "my genetics told me too" is never a good excuse.

Re:LIttle comfort (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464970)

Evolutionarily, if lots of women want to have sex with you it would be stupid to say no. Some of them will manage to raise your children, and you won't have to do any of the work! Nevermind that it's her second (more reliable) husband that actually helps raise the kid, or else he/she grows up without the benefit of a father. But all in all seems like a good deal, as long as there are enough responsible guys around to pick up the slack.

I think they've seen a similar kind of behavior in this one kind of lizard: there are basically three distinct sub-species of males, all with different colorings and mating strategies. The different strategies have different levels of success in different situations--one is large and aggressive, one is medium-sized and romantic, and one is small and cunning, or something like that. But the dynamic of three different kinds of males courting all the (identical) females gives the species an advantage and ability to adapt.

Re:LIttle comfort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34465074)

I guess thats why evolution created "shotgun weddings".

Re:LIttle comfort (2, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465288)

I'm really unsurprised infidelity is a genetic thing. Is anyone? Guys who sleep around, have more kids. More kids means the same genes get spread around. I find it hard to believe anybody bothered to do a study on something so clear and logical, but I suppose even the most blatantly obvious of hypotheses need to be tested under the scientific method by somebody.

Re:LIttle comfort (2)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465776)

But I question whether those who sleep around and have more children have "better" genes. I want intelligent folks with hardy physical traits having offspring, not Cletus.

Re:LIttle comfort (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465310)

Evolutionarily, if lots of women want to have sex with you it would be stupid to say no.

See Idiocracy if you haven't. Evolution favors successful reproduction and little else.

Setting aside the fate of the species... their are numerous species that reproduce and then die, or are killed by their mates. It would be "stupid to say no" to sex from a reproductive standpoint, but what about from a "quality of life" standpoint. Humans have a bit more freedom, but "stupid to say no" does jack up your odds of picking up STDs, destroying relationships you care about, and even finding yourself at the wrong end of a gun / baseball bat / tire iron in the hands of a jealous boyfriend/husband.

and hair! (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465526)

don't forget the full head of hair!

Re:LIttle comfort (2)

LocalH (28506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465032)

Of course, you still have a damn brain, so "my genetics told me too" is never a good excuse.

I don't think that's what this points to, I think this merely says that genetics can cause an almost irresistible, sometimes overriding urge to do something in a certain way (or to do something at all). Of course, this then touches on a society that wants to pretend like the human brain is perfect and clearly if someone does something "wrong" or "inappropriate", it's caused by them simply not giving a fuck, and can not be influence by how their brain internally operates on a subconscious level.

Re:LIttle comfort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34465766)

Almost all animals have brains. We have all heard the term animal instinct. It refers to an animals genetic disposition to do certain things without training. These instincts are there to help the animal survive and the species as a whole continue to be viable. One of the most basic of all instincts is to procreate. This is no less true of the human animal. Since the male is the physically stronger gender (debate all you want it's a proven fact and says nothing about intelligence) they also carry the stronger instinct to procreate. While many men can suppress this instinct with little effort most men struggle with it their entire lives. It is unhealthy for a man to go for long periods without an outlet. Dr.s will tell you regular ejaculation is good for a man's prostate and can help prevent prostate cancer. I believe humans were never destined to be monogamous but it was thrust on humanity by jealous men unable to woo more than a few women but with political/religious power over the masses. Over time it has become the accepted norm despite the instinct never going away which has led to the bulk of men constantly fighting the temptation to do what comes naturally. This increases their frustration in every situation and leads to the angry or "whipped" men we have today. Eventually this frustration will reach a boiling point and we'll see a backlash that will not be pretty.

Re:LIttle comfort (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465802)

There's already some evidence to suggest that what a woman is looking for in the man who brings up her kids and what a woman looks for in the man who's their biological father are two different things.

Re:LIttle comfort (1)

thynk (653762) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464906)

So... is there a test that can be performed in the field to see if the subject has this specific gene combo? Say something you could add to a drink (or spike the bars ice supply with) that would react and turn the drink blue to identify the trait and safe the rest of us guys a few hours of effort? I suppose you could also market the test to couples thinking of an exclusive relationship.

Just thinking out loud, ignore me.

Re:LIttle comfort (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464968)

Yes, there is a test. Introduce the douchebag to your sister. If he sleeps with her, he has the gene.

Re:LIttle comfort (1)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465698)

This only works if your sister is hotter than you. :oD

Re:LIttle comfort (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465668)

And actually, these are very desirable genes, since they apparently also make you a world class football player, basketball player, soccer star, or golfer!

Or earn you a place on an Interpol wanted list [interpol.int] .

Re:LIttle comfort (1)

nido (102070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465748)

Somehow telling my wife, "Hey, it's in my DNA, I just can't help it!" doesn't make her any less pissed off.

Sometimes you tell the wife, sometimes you don't. My ex-wife has done a lot of research into sex, and shares tidbits with me. She says people with polyamorous relationships tend to live longer....

When my divorce was almost finalized, she told me to go away for a week so she could work on her Energy Viagra [energyviag...ingsex.com] project. As I was going out the door, she said, "go find yourself a sweet woman." I wasn't expecting to be successful, but a couple hours later my phone rang...

Anyways, after I got back a couple days later, I learned that while I would hear everything about my future-ex-wife's romantic interests, she was still very possessive of me. And that I shouldn't go visit my new friend until the wounds healed. I don't tell her anything about my girlfriends or prospects anymore.

People today have a tendency to come together for a time, then separate when their paths diverge. The world isn't like it used to be, where people regularly spent their entire lives in the county they were born in.

Sometimes it takes a while to find a person who's entirely compatible. And being celibate until you find your personal "special someone" isn't a good option, especially for women (who really do need to get laid semi-regularly - it helps keep their hormones balanced, lest they become an angry bitch).

Sometimes it's genes (personality type) - they love the thrill of fucking with someone new. But sometimes people really aren't all that into their partners, and genes have little to do with it.

Re:LIttle comfort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34465884)

As someone who suffers what one might call "sexual addiction", I can say its not as desirable as one might think. In my country they don't recognise Sexual Addiction but rather sexual dependancy behavior - I think they seperate it so that you can be treated for it but not in the same rehab sense as Alchoholism is repeat drug abuse.

But I like to think I have a good sense of humour, I'd still have given you a +1 funny had I had mod points, but I just want to make the point known to people:

A lot of people joke about how men think about sex every six seconds and that can be considered normal. How could wanting sex all the time be considered an addiction, they say. Only people who have actually suffered from an addiction can actually describe it to you - you don't have full control over it, and its not just a matter of "willpower". Science has shown in some cases that there is some kind of chemical imbalance going on or there was some serious psychological trauma early on in life causing these influences.

Much in the same way someone is addicted to cigarettes, thats what its like. If you don't get it, its all you think about. It distracts you insanely until you get it. And some people need a cigarette over 20 times a day, just imagine needing a sexual release that often, and how convincing your girlfriend or wife to please you half as often as you like is difficult enough already.

No, I have never cheated, had one night stands, or any crazy nights of debauchery. I have however felt the compelling need to go squeeze one off while at work, or even while my girlfriend is at my place. It may not be as harmful as alchohol or drugs on your biology, but the same effects those have on the other parts of your life are still felt with sexual addiction or dependancy.

Posting anonymously because this is a bit of a touchy subject.

Damn it. (1)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464636)

Why didn't they notify me when they were searching for their test subjects?

Must run (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464644)

From my experience it must run in the y chromosome.

Re:Must run (1)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464714)

Sexist. Perhaps it's X-recessive?

Re:Must run (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464816)

In my experience as a single man, it mainly runs in pairs of x chromosomes.

Re:Must run (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465708)

not really.
for a surprisingly large percentage of children daddy isn't really the daddy.

As the reproductive biologist Jack Cohen said
"women 'sin downwards' for sex and 'sin upwards in status' for having children"

ie: marry upwards but have sex with the hot delivery guy.

both sexes do it plenty.

Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464698)

The propensity for infidelity could very well be in their DNA.

Millions of years of evolution at work.

And being one of the few species attempting monogamy why are we surprised when it frequently doesn't work out?

The moral of this story is (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464702)

Hang out at casino bars more often.

Re:The moral of this story is (2)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464784)

Or, get a research job that gives you an excuse to hang out in casino bars more often.

AIDs will cure that (-1, Troll)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464754)

Now that AIDs is the primary target of those involved in infidelity and promiscuity, evolution might say otherwise.

Re:AIDs will cure that (4, Insightful)

potat0man (724766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464922)

Yeah, because cheating spouses never come back home again and spread disease back to their faithful spouses...

Try again.

Re:AIDs will cure that (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465020)

Hey, I never said there weren't innocent casualties in evolution. Don't look at me, I'm just telling it like it is.

Re:AIDs will cure that (1)

potat0man (724766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465188)

More like you're telling it like your moronic moralistic pea-brain wishes it was. You do know people with STD's reproduce just as successfully as people without them? And that people who have more sex, that is to say, the promiscuous, reproduce at a much greater rate than monogamous people?

Condoms prevent AIDS pretty well (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464960)

You use a condom with your wife? Ever go down on her after brushing your teeth? Do you know who she slept with before you? Has she ever had a blood transfusion? I've had dozens of sex partners, used a condom and other safe sex practices (including no oral if there is any suspicion of a cut or scrape in the mouth) every time. Who do you think is really more at risk?

Re:Condoms prevent AIDS pretty well (2)

ThatMegathronDude (1189203) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465126)

Why would you brush your teeth before cunnilingus?

Re:Condoms prevent AIDS pretty well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34465194)

Why would you put your tongue on anyone's pee-hole? EWWWWW

Re:Condoms prevent AIDS pretty well (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465264)

You're doing it wrong.

Re:Condoms prevent AIDS pretty well (2)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465196)

Some people brush their teeth before going to bed, and then have sex. But it isn't just brushing your teeth, it could be eating corn chips, or HoneyComb cereal, or anything else that can give you cuts in your mouth.

Re:Condoms prevent AIDS pretty well (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465392)

Ever go down on her after brushing your teeth?

Actually, gums tend to bleed after brushing and flossing. You and your partner are much more likely to transmit and receive a viral STD shortly after that hygienic activity.

Re:Condoms prevent AIDS pretty well (1)

entrigant (233266) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465532)

that was kinda the point

Re:Condoms prevent AIDS pretty well (1)

that IT girl (864406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465744)

Because, ew. If you have a dirty mouth, like you recently ate or drank something sugary, you could give her a yeast infection.

Re:Condoms prevent AIDS pretty well (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465914)

Actually, those Listerine breath strip things can make it more interesting for her. Maybe brushing does the same?

Re:Condoms prevent AIDS pretty well (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465250)

My wife and I are very open and honest with each other. Suffice to say, our risk of getting AIDs is far and away much lower than say...a crack whore.

Re:Condoms prevent AIDS pretty well (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465464)

I didn't ask about a crack whore, I asked if you used a condom. I do. Therefore, even though I have had lots of sex with lots of partners, I am probably at less risk than you and your wife.

Also, ever hear stories of people married fifteen, twenty years? They think they know everything about each other and then BAM! betrayal. And before it happened, they all thought, "It could never happen to us! We love each other and are open and honest!"

Evolution is always performing a balancing act between safe and inefficient monogamy and risky but effective promiscuity. AIDS may be new, but diseases that destroy your chance to reproduce without killing you are ancient. From your genes' point of view, there is no difference between AIDS and something that renders you sterile.

Do you really believe that AIDS is something new on the evolutionary scene? It isn't, but condoms sure are.

Re:Condoms prevent AIDS pretty well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34465800)

This is Slashdot, most of us have NO RISK WHATSOEVER.

(Sorry, but there is some truth to that meme.)

Re:AIDs will cure that (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465228)

Actually... Since AIDS doesn't kill until ample time has been given for reproduction, it is not likely to eliminate the trait.

Would you rather have genetic or personality tests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464760)

I'm honestly not sure. Are we more than our genes? Do those tests mean anything, or do they mean as little as your average personality test?

seems fairly tautological (1)

Dryanta (978861) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464770)

almost all sexual activity is genetic in some way - with very few exceptions that are the gifts of sentience, my personal favorite being bdsm xD the need to propagate the species and compete for mating partners/territory is fairly well understood - why apply it specifically to 'one night stands'? im sure anyone with that DRD4 gene seeks risk/impulsive behavior, and to those of us who have had the ONS as dane cook puts it know that most of the time it is more exciting than a typical sex act with a committed partner.

Re:seems fairly tautological (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464820)

How do you know BDSM isn't genetic?

Re:seems fairly tautological (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465016)

It's learned behavior. (I'm currently trying to train my daughter to be into it by spanking her on a regular basis.)

Re:seems fairly tautological (1)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465772)

That's disgusting....

Re:seems fairly tautological (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464998)

almost all sexual activity is genetic in some way - with very few exceptions that are the gifts of sentience, my personal favorite being bdsm

Too. Much. Information!!!

Re:seems fairly tautological (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465542)

more exciting than a typical sex act with a committed partner.

More exciting yet not as good at the same time.

Once you've found a good restaurant with a fantastic menu and great service, it becomes a gamble to go somewhere else. Far more often than not the food is bland by comparison, and every now and then you go home disgusted.

Of course, that all changes if you aren't happy with your favorite restaurant... but then its a bit of an oxymoron to call it your favorite restaurant if you'd rather eat somewhere else all the time. Probably time to choose a new favorite...

So? (2)

MintOreo (1849326) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464796)

Spoiler alert! Every thing is genetic.

Everything everyone has ever done was determined by their genetics; that doesn't make infidelity less despicable.

Re:So? (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464984)

Exactly. Everyone has a propensity for something undesirable, whether it's infidelity, laziness, drinking, overeating, or lying. PLEASE don't let us go down the path of excusing our bad behavior because doing otherwise is difficult. Just because we all have monkeys on our backs doesn't mean we need to act like animals.

Re:So? (1)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465022)

You're absolutely right! After hearing this I'm just going to sit at home and let my genes do all the work.

Re:So? (2)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465030)

No, everything is a mixture of genetics and environment. How our genes are expressed is determined by our environment. Infidelity itself is not despicable, deceit is despicable. Not every committed relationship is monogamous.

Re:So? (2)

MintOreo (1849326) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465248)

And how you respond to these environments is purely genetic. The real question is what genetic determinations are more ductile to environmental influences.

Infidelity is despicable (obviously subjective), as it is deceit. Infidelity is being unfaithful- if your contract never included sexual exclusivity then not being exclusive isn't infidelity.

Re:So? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465548)

How you initially respond may be genetic, and there will always be a genetic component to your response, but culture plays a huge role. For instance, I choose to use a condom. Is choosing to use a condom genetic? It can't be, condoms are too recent for us to have evolved any sort of genetic response to them. You could say the safety/risk weighting factors are genetic, and my choice to play it safe or risky is genetic, but my specific choice to use an actual condom is cultural more than it is genetic.

It basically sounds like you are discounting the idea of learned behaviors, which is a fairly outlandish stance to take.

As for infidelity, you obviously understand and agree with my basic point, but quibble over semantics.

Re:So? (1)

ebuck (585470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465054)

Spoiler alert! Every thing is genetic. Everything everyone has ever done was determined by their genetics; that doesn't make infidelity less despicable.

Yeah, I can't wait till they find the gene therapy cure for starvation.

Just because Genetics has the promise to deliver a lot doesn't mean that everything is genetic. There's still a big bad environment out there, and I don't see a "hit by a car" gene or "poisoned by industrial waste" gene working its way into DNA anytime soon.

Re:So? (1)

MintOreo (1849326) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465346)

Note that I said that everything you do is genetic. Getting hit by a car is not something 'you do' (unless it was intentional), its something done to you. How that affects you is something you do.

Re:So? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465660)

Just because Genetics has the promise to deliver a lot doesn't mean that everything is genetic. There's still a big bad environment out there, and I don't see a "hit by a car" gene or "poisoned by industrial waste" gene working its way into DNA anytime soon.

Tell it to Teela Brown.

Re:So? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465108)

Some would argue that there is a memetic component not determined by genes.

And most would argue that if a behavior is truly genetically determined, such that you literally cannot choose otherwise, it would in fact make infidelity less despicable.

Re:So? (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465628)

And most would argue that if a behavior is truly genetically determined, such that you literally cannot choose otherwise, it would in fact make infidelity less despicable.

And punishment unethical.

Re:So? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465690)

Unless of course punishment is also genetically determined, obviously. ;-)

Re:So? (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465242)

It also doesn't mean that certain constructs in society that try to turn everything "natural" into something that needs to be stopped, should be propped up by those with a view towards tradition.

I'm not necessarily saying infidelity is GOOD, in the sense that people should unilaterally accept it and if they don't, there's something wrong with them. What I am saying is that it's for each individual person to determine where they stand on such an issue, and then seek out a partner that shares that (or at least intersects substantially).

If two people get together, and they decide that they want an "open" relationship, one that would result in acts you define as infidelity - what purpose does it serve to label that as despicable? Such behavior affects you approximately zero (even if your partner cheats on you with this couple, that's an issue for you and your partner to deal with that doesn't really involve the couple, as they aren't cheating on anybody).

Also, it stands to be said (at least anecdotally), often the people who complain the loudest about infidelity are the ones committing it. My ex-girlfriend would claim evidence of an occurrence that didn't happen (and thus the evidence didn't exist) as a way to prop up an argument, but in the long run she was the one caught cheating. I also know that I'm not the only one to experience something like this.

When society tries to impose a certain lifestyle (or combination of lifestyles) on everyone, such that there is an effort to make people feel "guilty" or "ashamed" if they don't fit in with that lifestyle, then I would argue that society is overstepping its bounds. In an alternate universe somewhere, a society exists that has no concept of cheating because they never tried to be monogamous in the first place. If someone from our universe were to enter into the polygamous universe, knowing human tendencies they'd be so disgusted that they'd start trying to preach and change this alternate universe, instead of just leaving well enough alone.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34465780)

meh, even most fairly conservative young couples I know have a celebrity exception (each has a celebrity who if they get the chance to sleep with it doesn't count as cheating) and while we've not actually gone out and done so yet we've talked about it and are both open to the idea of the other inviting someone else in if they really want to.

it's about trust after all, any arrangement in which everyone is ok with the situation is just fine by me.

Re:So? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465804)

So everybody who died without ever having any children only didn't have them because their parents didn't?

Liberal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464868)

Isn't this the same derivation that make people liberal as well? http://www.medicaldaily.com/news/20101027/3003/researchers-find-a-liberal-gene.htm

Looks like it's just an addictive behavior (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464880)

The reward system combined with a propensity toward addiction makes the behavior addictive.

Old perspective, new proof (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34464926)

While having a lock on a gene is good, gene-centric explanations of one-night stands exist for decades. For a layman's presentation, see Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene", chapter Battle of the Sexes. It explains why sexes actually formed - as the different strategies of packing more nutrients into your gamete or take advantage of the packers - and works its way up to 'faithful' and 'cheating' mating behaviours. It also predicts stable configurations made up partly of 'faithful' and partly of 'cheating' reproductives. Won't go into detail here, it's all there.

New Study! (2)

AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464934)

Research suggests one-night stands are responsible for new genetics.

Indirect link (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34464974)

Already linked to sensation-seeking behavior such as alcohol use and gambling, DRD4 is known to influence the brain's chemistry and subsequently, an individual's behavior.

Although it probably (ironically) makes for a good conversation starter, this is largely the same thing as saying people who drink and gamble more have more hangovers but less money, and that it's because of their genetics. Sure, it relates to the gene, but the gene doesn't cause you to go out and bone. Behavior is a choice, and what this study says is that people who drink and gamble are more likely to get it on, perhaps even with each other.

Moreover, it strikes at the heart of a larger obsession we have with genetics, and by "we" I mean of course "the money-hungry media and those without a bachelor's training in science." There's a wonderful book Dread by Philip Alcabes, and one of the points he makes is that we need to stop talking about genetic predisposition by group. Yes, Sickle Cell Anemia has a higher occurrence among black people, but you're not more likely to have it just because you're black. Genetics is one of the most powerful tools we've discovered and it's only becoming more useful, but so much of its use is built upon correlation and statistics, which doesn't translate well down to the average citizen who would love to abdicate responsibility for at least one of the myriad issues in his/her life.

This is the R versus K equilibrium (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465044)

This provides an interesting physiological backstory to the evolutionary equilibrium between R versus K mating behavior.

R == cuckoo behavior, impregnate as many females as possible; K == hang around and diligently raise your (or the cuckoo's) young. It is a biological free-rider problem.

MOFO BE SO HORNY !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34465048)

Oh, me SO horny yeah !!

You want shorttime ??

Twenty dolla !!

Can't help it, baby !! It's in my DNA !! Yeah !!

Wait a minute! (5, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465070)

Are you saying that people can't keep it in their jeans because it's in their genes?

Equality (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465152)

Leave it to a slashdot editor (you know, the whole never getting laid thing) to confuse "one night stand" and "infidelity."

Somewhere, over the rainbow... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465170)

... their only excuse is: 'I just can't help it.' According to researchers at Binghamton University, they may be right. The propensity for infidelity could very well be in their DNA.

Yes, yes and one day we will develop big brains that will allow us to control our base urges and rise above being mere animals. And, yes, I have friends who are recovering alcoholics, so I'm sympathetic to the underlying issue. Still, poor impulse control is what usually gets you into the trouble you can't handle...

Re:Somewhere, over the rainbow... (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465430)

Yes, yes and one day we will develop big brains that will allow us to control our base urges and rise above being mere animals.

The hell we will. Half of society is intent on making sure that natural selection and microevolution are denied influence on the human race. It's my understanding that currently, our brains are actually shrinking (whether that's good or bad however seems to be up in the air).

News (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465198)

Since when is it news that something may be the case? It's like saying: you know, the fact that you fuck around so much may be genetic but it may also be because you just don't know what you like in a woman yet, or you you might be a sex addict, or you are a teenager or you get horny every time you see your middle finger, or you just don't know anything better to do with your life.

Addictive behavior... (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465202)

It seems to me that it's simply another example of positive emotional feedback. Humans seem to have quite a tendency to get addicted to anything that feels good, or at least feels good to that particular individual. That seems to be where the distinction lies. I suppose most people tend to gravitate towards something that requires less effort, alcohol or drugs. But there are people truly addicted to things like work or exercise. I know of exercise fanatics who've had their spouse leave them because they were so fixated on it. My old boss's wife almost left him because he did nothing but work. He spent all his free time at the office; doing what I don't know but he was always there. Whether or not someone else is directly harmed by the activity is irrelevant.

That this particular case involves sex I'd say is largely irrelevant. Of course, the big factor here is that you're engaging another person. So it isn't simply wanting to do something but convincing someone else to do it with you. This is the sort of thing that requires self-confidence and to some extent, experience. And, judging from people I know, it wasn't a conscious decision. They simply enjoyed being with other people. But at some point they ended up in a relationship. Those urges, however, never went away so when they found themselves in a situation where they could cheat they did so. Hell, being in a relationship probably made it easier. Because from their perspective there's nothing to lose. There's more to lose from following through with the affair. And from the perspective of the other individual there must be something desirable about this person for them to be in a relationship.

And the headline doesn't fit the summary. One night stands are a totally different thing than infidelity. That's simply being able to screw someone and dump them the next day. That's one of those things that people seem to have to work up to. And in my experience someone inevitably ends up getting hurt. But that's another story.

There are lots of genetic disorders... (1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465222)

I have trouble not eating too much, and I don't doubt that's genetic also, looking at my ancestors. That doesn't keep me from gaining weight if I don't behave myself. I can't use genetics as an excuse for not taking care of myself, and neither can these people. Get a grip!

Knock it off with the oversimplification already. (4, Insightful)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465226)

The media does not understand basic research [phdcomics.com] . In this case, we see its obsession of finding genes for behaviors; it almost never works that way.

Genes aren't smartphone apps; you can't just say "there's a gene for that."

Genes are more akin to code than to building blocks. A gene is more like a function than it is like a brick or mortar, and we have very little understanding of how genes interact with each other.

I'd like to give a "bravo!" to the authors for making the paper an open-access journal article. I know that's a hard sell to publishers. The full paper [plosone.org] is available to all without registration.

The paper itself explains the high chance that this is overblown:

It is also important to sound several notes of caution. First, a consistent challenge in genetic association studies are that of third variable confounds, or unmeasured variables that are causally responsible for the observed finding but are associated with the measured variables thus generating a spurious association. ...

Re:Knock it off with the oversimplification alread (1)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465918)

Media reports also love to conflate "we've uncovered the root cause of X to be Y" with "X is not the person's fault--it's the fault of Y".

The problem with this logic is that, unless you believe in the supernatural (e.g. souls), every single action a person takes is ultimately understandable in terms of causative factors (genetics, childhood, upbringing, opportunity, diet, exercise, lifestyle, job, friends, etc.). This is just a generalization of our understanding that everything in the universe has a cause that can in principle be understood, though of course in practice many systems are so complex that they are intractable. (Again, unless you subscribe to a not-logically-consistent worldview.)

Such thinking of course raises serious questions about "free will", and while that is an excellent topic for philosophy debates, we need to acknowledge that for things like morality, justice, law, and social order to have any meaning at all, we must accept that people are responsible for their actions, even though those actions have, of course, root causes that are ultimately external to the person in question. I'm not saying it's obvious where to draw the line between "not their fault" and "their fault"... What I am saying is that using something crude like "we've found a gene/chemical/influence that causes/increases-the-incidence-of/predisposes action X" as the dividing line for responsibility is ridiculous, since the inexorable march of science is just going to put more and more behavior into that category as time goes on.

So, please, please, please... mainstream media, get over your silly fallacy that explanation negates responsibility.

No Regrets Amiryte? (1)

timbudtwo (782174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465232)

Finally! Science has proved that DNA has freed me from taking responsibility for my actions and my lack of self control. Score!

Just proves what I already knew (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465306)

I told her to get off the dopamine but she just couldn't put it down. I came home one day and her bags were all packed. She was off to hollywood to get herself jacked....up on that dopamine I know that for sure. Well the last I heard of her she was strung out on the floor... givin her all for dopamine you know that's for sure..(insert cheesy 70's country song here)

Possibilities (1)

SimonInOz (579741) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465400)

So this means that if you have a one night stand with someone, it might be worth having a bit of a go with their sister - or mother - or daughter? [Change to our preferred genders as appropriate]

From memory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34465452)

"speak not then of inconstancy,
of broken hearts and vows,
if I should, by some miracle be
        this livelong minute true to thee,
'tis all that heaven allows"
(Byron?)

He or she has cheated (4, Interesting)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465512)

As a male, I really like how the summary starts with "He or she has cheated". It doesn't paint infidelity as a typical male thing. I'm sick of the rosy picture in which this society paints our women. The most conservative statistics say that close to 50% of females admit to sexual infidelity [psychologytoday.com] . And yes, women are horny and have fun but not with their partner [psychologytoday.com] although in a different way from men, and yes, women frequently strike out at their partners, and not simply in self-defense; in 24% of violent American marriages, the woman is the only abuser [psychologytoday.com] . I vividly remember the Teen mom lashing out [mtv.com] episode of the MTV show Teen Mom, where she throws a few jabs and a right hook in her boyfriend's face.

They're humans, just like men.

Re:He or she has cheated (1)

pantheonwhaley (1933610) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465856)

I resent the assertion that women are humans. They are clearly Lizard People.

Multiple test correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34465574)

Don't bother trying to explain the difference between groups. Chances are they didn't bother doing a multiple test correction. The article implies 100s or 1000s of tests, so you'd expect to find 5 or 50 "statistical significant" differences. The article makes no mention of correcting for that fact, and epidemiologists are well-known for being ignorant of it.

hay baby come to butthead it's genetic or somethin (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465686)

hay baby come to butthead it's genetic or something

Seems correct (1)

rockbottoms (1393173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465720)

Multiple ladies is in my DNA... and my DNA is in multiple ladies

Behavioral excuses (2)

GMC-jimmy (243376) | more than 3 years ago | (#34465834)

"I can't help it." usually equates to "I have no self-discipline." The longer that fact goes ignored, the worse it becomes. Very few things are truly involuntary. Such as projectile vomiting.

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