People may cheat on a significant other or spouse for a variety of reasons. In some cases, it may be pure lust while in other cases an individual may cheat in an attempt to find or fulfill something that’s missing in their own life. In other cases, an individual may not even really know why he or she was unfaithful.

Researchers at an Australian university recently revealed the findings of a study that aimed to help identify what role, if any, an individual’s genes play in cheating. For the study 7,300 identical and non-identical twins between the ages of 18 and 49 were examined.

All of the study’s participants were in long-term relationships, yet some admitted to having sex with someone other than their significant other within the last 12 months. In fact researchers found that nearly 10 percent of male study participants and 6.4 percent of female participants had recently cheated.

Of those individuals who admitted to cheating, in 63 percent of men and 40 percent of women, researchers attributed the behavior to inherited genes. For women, researchers even identified a specific gene known as AVPRIA that they believe greatly contributes to a woman’s cheating.

The study helps reinforce the important role that genes play in influencing or even determining behavior. While the findings are interesting, it’s probably too soon to request that a new love interest undergo genetic testing.

For many married couples, cheating is a catalyst for divorce. Individuals, who discover that a spouse is or has cheated, would be wise to remain calm and discuss their case with a divorce attorney. An attorney can provide advice about one’s options as well as how to proceed with the separation and divorce process.

Source: The Telegraph, “Cheating on your other half can be inherited: Study suggests infidelity may be handed down by parents and grandparents,” Roger Dobson, Nov. 23, 2014