The promiscuity gene

Whether we are likely to cheat or not is (partly) written in our genes.

The media promotes sexual promiscuity and freedom as empowering and contemporary, however it turns out that people can be either monogomous or polygamous. Alot of people will fall into one of the two categories; either you form deep attachments to people and prefer just one person, or you enjoy the freedom to be with whoever you want and get a thrill out of multiple sexual partners.

Time to shrug off the guilt and see through the misconceptions about what you should or shouldn’t be doing. This works both ways! If your monogomous but single, you may feel pressured by the media to explore your sexuality and enjoy multiple partners. Moreover if you’re polygamous, you may feel labelled or branded as someone who sleeps around or is anti-commitment. There’s no winning!

Or is there? I think the only way to truly win in situations like this is to be your self, and to be honest about how you feel with other people to decrease the likelihood of those around you getting hurt! That comes after deciding to feel proud and content with who you are, and maybe after reading this article, you’ll feel more ready to be your true self.

Oxytocin (in women) and vasopressin (in men) are the hormones which enable you to bond and to feel attached and close to people around you. Recent research has shown that there are different versions of these genes which contribute to your phenotype (observable characteristics of a gene). If you’re more monogamous, then these hormones are released in response to interactions with your partner encouraging feelings of closeness and bonding, and the receptors are more frequent and located near dopamine receptors which trigger the reward pathway making you more likely to go back for more. However if you’re more polygamous, then you get less oxytocin/vasopressin release and don’t get the same reward pathway stimulus, leaving you looking elsewhere for the hit.

A study from the University of Queensland shows that our genes are only partly to do with whether we’re more likely to cheat on a partner; there are so many environmental and emotional factors which also play a part. In this study, they tested the correlation between cheating partners and their genes, and they found that genes linked to infidelity were present in 65% of cases of men who cheated in past relationships, but only present in 40% of women; showing that men are more at mercy to their genotype than women.

I think they key is to embrace who you are; and be honest about who you are to yourself and to others in the kindest way. Actually quite a hard and courageous thing to do, I’ve found.

So the picture with this article is me at a full moon party on Koh Phangyan in Thailand a couple of years ago! I try and only use my own pictures on my blog, and this was the closest I could find that has anything to do with being promiscuous haha – even though it’s just a picture of me dancing! Below me pulling a funny face is my aussie friend Zan.

Published by Sophie

Interest Categories: Science, Travel, People

5 thoughts on “The promiscuity gene

  1. Hi Soph,

    Very interesting article!….I admire your bold and controversial topic!

    Do you think that there is a correlation between these findings and being a loner versus team player???

    Hope you enjoying festive time of year!

    Lotsa love xxxx

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    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah perhaps there is! Although what I’m talking about in my article has a lot to do with sex and the oxytocin/vasopressin release that occurs during physical contact! Definitely worth investigating though, I’ll have a look through the medical literature and let you know!


  2. Do you think it’s wise to use your emotions as your guide? I’m not disagreeing…just curious xxx

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    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question! When I was writing it, I was thinking that there are a lot of people in the world who are apthathetic (pshychopaths/sociopaths) and a lot of mentally ill people who’s emotions won’t be a good indication. I was planning on writing a post on it.
      Maybe I’ll change the way I’ve worded it, I’ll have a think on it. Thanks for flagging that up!! Xxxx


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