Study Shows The REAL Reason People Cheat (It's Not What You Think)

Everybody knows that cheating is one of the most selfish and hurtful things you can do to your partner.

And yet, 19 percent of women and 23 percent of men admit to infidelity. Not to mention, someone who cheats in one relationship is 3.5 times more likely to do so in the next one too.

So what's the deal? A new video from AsapScience says there may be a genetic component driving betrayal.

Calling upon data from a 2010 study on 181 young adults in monogamous heterosexual relationships, the short film shows that the science behind cheating is (perhaps unsurprisingly) rooted in our hormones.

First, it explores the role of dopamine: the "happiness hormone" responsible for that emotional rush we feel after a great workout or a delicious meal. The dopamine gene can take either a long or short form in the body.

"50 percent of people who possess the long allele variant of this gene had cheated on their partner, compared to only 22 percent of people who had the short allele," the video's narrator explains. "The long-allele participants also had a tendency to be risk-takers and succumb to addictive behaviors such as alcoholism."

According to the same study, people with lower levels of vasopressin — the hormone responsible for compassion and empathy — are also more likely to cheat.

So there you have it. Obviously cheating is inexcusable, no matter what your DNA says. But it makes sense that those who are genetically more prone to seek thrills than nurture emotions tend to be more promiscuous partners.

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