Born to be unfaithful? Study says cheating behaviour can be inherited

BRISBANE - Does your potential mate have a family history of unfaithfulness? That could be a future consideration for singles out there.

The likelihood of a person cheating on his or her spouse is influenced by their genes, a study says.

The effect is stronger for men than for woman, according to the study published in the journal Evolution And Human Behavior in October.

Dr Brendan Zietsch, research fellow at Queensland University's school of psychology, who led the study, told The Telegraph: "Our research clearly shows that people's genetic make-up influences how likely they are to have sex with someone outside their main partnership."

The study by researchers at the University of Queensland and other institutions from Sweden and Finland studied 7,300 pairs of twins and siblings who were in long-term relationships.

About 10 per cent of the men and 6 per cent of the women had had other sexual partners in the past 12 months.

Twin studies determine how likely a trait is to be inherited by comparing data between pairs of identical twins, and pairs of siblings who do not share all their genetic material.

The results showed that 63 per cent of unfaithful behaviour in men was down to their genes, and 40 per cent in women.

The study said that while the cheating behaviour by men can be explained by the need to have more offspring and increase the likelihood of passing on their genes, the evolutionary benefits of cheating for women is not well understood.

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