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Getting Married? Have Him Tested For The Gene Variant As A True Test Of Fidelity

By Nikki Weingartner     Sep 2, 2008 in Science
A recent Swedish study has confirmed a link between a genetic variant and a man's likelihood of becoming a "player." Study data shows that men with the variant behave differently and bring crisis to their relationships.
Since 2004, when the Fidelity gene was uncovered in voles (a type of rodent) scientists have continued to study the hormone vasopressin and how it relates to monogamy. In a New Scientist article released today, the explanation of just how the missing variants in that gene's coding for vasopressin help determine whether or not a man will be faithful.
The research out of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, according to a press release:
Hasse Walum and his colleagues made use of data from The Twin and Offspring Study in Sweden, which includes over 550 twins and their partners or spouses. The gene under study codes for one of the receptors for vasopressin, a hormone found in the brains of most mammals. The team found that men who carry one or two copies of a variant of this gene [RS3 334] often behave differently in relationships than men who lack this gene variant.
The incidence of allele 334 [RS3 334] was statistically linked to how strong a bond a man felt he had with his partner. Men who had two copies of allele 334 [RS3 334] were also twice as likely to have had a marital or relational crisis in the past year than those who lacked the gene variant. There was also a correlation between the men's gene variant and what their respective partners thought about their relationship.
"Women married to men who carry one or two copies of allele 334 [RS3 334] were, on average, less satisfied with their relationship than women married to men who didn't carry this allele", says Hasse Walum.
Therefore, when this gene variant is found in a man, it is directly linked to his cheat potential as well as his mate's level of satisfaction. What's worse is that according to the news article and the study release, the higher the number copies of the variant found in the man, the less able he was of having a satisfying and faithful relationship.
The study only looked at those in heterosexual relationships. Further details can be found in the study entitled Genetic variation in the vasopressin receptor 1a gene (AVPR1A) associates with pair-bonding behavior in humans printed in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Early Edition, 2-5 September 2008.
The next stop for ladies? Having your guy tested for this variant prior to engaging in more than a cuddle or an over-nighter.
More about Monogamy, Genes, Males
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