Bad Relationships May Be Genetic

Bad Relationships May Be Genetic

Can unhappy couples blame a man's genes?

That cheating husband of yours actually may not be heeding the call of his "little brain" and instead heeding the call of his "big" one: Swedish scientists found that heterosexual men with two copies of a gene variant (called an allele) were twice as likely to report marital problems.

Women married to men with one or two copies of the allele also reported being less satisfied in their marriages, especially in regards to the couple's intimacy and ability to connect. The Washington Post calls the study "the first time that science has shown a direct link between a man's genes and his aptitude for monogamy. "

Does this mean some grooms may be asked to submit to DNA testing before the big day? Or before signing up for couples counseling? Would men use their genetic makeup as an excuse for philandering?

That thought occurred to a Rutgers anthropologist interviewed for the article, too. But she optimistically argues that men may work harder at harmony or close their wandering eyes if they're more informed about their genetic code:

A man who knows he has this allele, she added, might be able to use the knowledge to ignore tugs of restlessness he might feel in his marriage: "You can say, 'Oh, it is just my DNA, and I am going to ignore it.'"

More bad news? Forty percent of men have two copies of the allele! Oh, crap....