The Inclination to Cheat May Be Genetically Hardwired

cheating, illinois divorce, Aurora divorce lawyerWith divorce laws set to change next year in Illinois, including the elimination of at-fault divorce, adultery will no longer be legally considered grounds for divorce. That, of course, is not to suggest that cheating cannot destroy a marriage; it simply means that the divorce itself must be based upon irreconcilable differences, which may certainly result from the actions of an unfaithful spouse. Any act of infidelity, whether within the context of marriage or not, raises questions regarding the motive behind the act of cheating. Is the unfaithful partner unhappy in the relationship or is it something deeper and more primal?

Could Cheating Be Genetic?

A relatively small-scale study from Texas Tech University and the University of Nevada recently looked to find a relationship between parents who cheat and the future infidelity of their children. The survey asked approximately 300 students if they had ever cheated on a partner, and about one third said they had. Roughly the same percentage of respondents indicated that at least one their parents had been unfaithful at some point. Interestingly, though, cheating students were found to be twice as likely to have cheating parents as students who remained faithful.

The suggested link raises additional questions however, along with several possible explanations. A cheating parent may inadvertently impact a child’s view of relationships and fidelity. While the students who admitted to acts of infidelity did not view such behavior as acceptable, it is possible that the instability at home—as evidenced by an unfaithful parent—may cause relationship issues for children later in life.

Possible DNA Link

The suggested connection between the behavior of parents and their children may have another explanation. This may possibly be the manifestation of certain genetic mutations thought to influence risky or unfaithful behaviors. A number of genome studies in the past few years have suggested the possible link between particular genes and the inclination toward promiscuity. Some of the identified genes affected both genders to varying degrees while others seemed to impact one gender only.

Researchers are careful, however, not to suggest that the possible genetic influence can or should override self-control, nor provide an excuse for culturally unacceptable behavior. The science community is merely continuing its attempts to understand the various aspects of human life that are affected by our DNA and which are entirely based on experience and upbringing.

If you or spouse are having issues with infidelity, an experienced Aurora family law attorney can help you understand your options. Contact the Law Offices of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today to schedule an appointment with a compassionate lawyer who is ready to assist you in finding the best solution for your situation.

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