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New study suggests that a propensity for 1-night stands, uncommitted sex could be genetic
Date:12/1/2010

tion seems to stem from a system of pleasure and reward, which is where the release of dopamine comes in. In cases of uncommitted sex, the risks are high, the rewards substantial and the motivation variable all elements that ensure a dopamine 'rush.'"

According to Garcia, these results provide some of the first biological evidence that at first glance, seems to be somewhat of a contradiction: that individuals could be looking for a serious committed long-term relationship, but have a history of one-night stands. At the same time, the data also suggests it is also reasonable that someone could be wildly in love with their partner, commit infidelity, and yet still be deeply attached and care for their partner. It all came back to a DRD4 variation in these individuals. Individual differences in the internal drive for a dopamine 'rush' can function independently from the drive for commitment.

"The study doesn't let transgressors off the hook," said Garcia. "These relationships are associative, which means that not everyone with this genotype will have one-night stands or commit infidelity. Indeed, many people without this genotype still have one-night stands and commit infidelity. The study merely suggests that a much higher proportion of those with this genetic type are likely to engage in these behaviors."

Garcia also cautions that the consequences of risky sexual behavior can indeed be extreme.

"One-night stands can be risky, both physically and psychologically," said Garcia. "And betrayal can be one of the most devastating things to happen to a couple. These genes do not give anyone an excuse, but they do provide a window into how our biology shapes our propensities for a wide variety of behaviors."

At this point, very little is known about how genetics and neurobiology influence one's sexuality propensities and tendencies but Garcia is hopeful that this study will add to the growing base of knowledge - in particular, ho
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Contact: Gail Glover
gglover@binghamton.edu
607-777-2174
Binghamton University
Source:Eurekalert  

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