Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, author of Make Up Don’t Break Up and Adultery The Forgivable Sin has been saying for years what scientists finally found a genetic explanation for. Cheating is genetic, specifically the DRD4 gene.

The recent scientific study completed by Justin Garcia, a doctoral fellow in evolutionary biology and health at Binghamton University, New York, determined that the DRD4 gene not only plays a role in other thrill seeking behaviors such as gambling and drinking, but also plays a role in sexual infidelity and promiscuity (http://healthland.time.com/2010/12/02/too-many-one-night-stands-blame-your-genes)

In her books, Dr. Weil has continually supported her theory that men who cheat also have high levels of the hormone vasopressin, driving them to seek out and thrive in high risk activities like gambling, sports, and often choose high risk and thrill seeking careers such as politics or professional sports. Dr. Weil has coined the phrase, bio-chemical craving for connection, to describe why some men are hormonally set up to cheat. “Men who cheat are wired to thrive in high arousal activities because of their biological make up. They also seek out self-soothing activities to counteract the agitating effects of higher levels of the hormone. While some of these men turn to drugs and alcohol, others choose sex, which simultaneously fills the need for risk and the desire for calming.”

Dr. Bonnie reminds couples that cheating, even though there is a genetic predisposition, is still a choice. “Once the indiscretion is committed, it takes a lot of work to undo the damage, and many relationships don’t survive the betrayal.” In other words, cheating may be in ones genes, but is not a free pass for dropping trousers indiscriminately. In her book, Make Up Don’t Break Up, Dr. Bonnie gives tips for couples at risk for cheating.

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