It’s in the genes

Infidelity Lurks in Your Genes

We have long known that men have a genetic, evolutionary impulse to cheat, because that increases the odds of having more of their offspring in the world.

But now there is intriguing new research showing that some women, too, are biologically inclined to wander, although not for clear evolutionary benefits. Women who carry certain variants of the vasopressin receptor gene are much more likely to engage in “extra pair bonding,” the scientific euphemism for sexual infidelity.

I’m not surprised. My informal interviews with women indicates a bimodal distribution. Either women 50 years and older have had a relatively small number of sexual partners, less than 10 or else dozens or, sometimes, many hundreds.

See also my post here.

3 thoughts on “It’s in the genes

  1. People act surprised….like it’s “NEWS” when they learn that women cheat….
    and the reality is they are just as willing and prone to cheat as men. And ever
    since women left the home and started working in the big wide world the
    opportunities for them to do so expanded exponentially. And they took advantage of those opportunities. For DECADES the conventional wisdom was that men were always the cheaters. Nobody EVER asked the obvious question.
    Who the hell were all those men cheating with??? The inconvenient answer was (the vast majority of the time) NOT each other but with women. For every man cheating there was a woman doing the same. Only recently has this
    obvious truth become acknowledged.

  2. Pretty simple, I think. Fidelity has some obvious reproductive advantages. But finding some schmo to support you and the kids while seeking the highest quality alpha genes to actually father the kids has some advantages, too. Of course, considering the reproductive strategy wiring males generally have, it’s no problem for just about any woman who isn’t disgustingly repulsive to rack up a score sheet in the hundreds if she isn’t too picky about partners; modern pharmaceutical science, aka “the pill” and “antibiotics”, limits the down-side of such a strategy, and is allowing it to possibly be bred out of the gene pool. Think r/K. Different reproductive strategy, different costs and benefits. Time will tell what is “better,” or at least what actually survives. Somehow I doubt that uncontrolled but ultimately sterile reproductive activity is an optimal genetic survival strategy for any given organism. It sounds more like extinction.

    • Do you have research that indicates there is a correlation between large number of partners and “sterile reproductive activity”?

      The women I have talked to with a “score sheet in the hundreds” have not limited themselves entirely to “sterile reproductive activity”. I know that one who told me she and her husband estimated she had “about 600 partners” has two or possibly three children. I told another, with two children and at least two grandchildren, of the one with about 600 partners said, “That’s nothing!”. This last weekend I asked one woman who I suspected was very “active” about her number of partners and children, etc. She was vague on the number of partners, “I suppose it could be 600.” She has three children and over a half dozen grandchildren.

      I don’t know the reproductive history of all the women I have interviewed with large numbers of partners those which I do know, with the exception of two, either have children or are still in their early twenties with many years of fertility available to reproduce.

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