Why do some men and women cheat on their partners while others resist the temptation?
To find the answer, a growing body of research is focusing on the science of commitment. According to a story in the New York Times, scientists are studying everything from the biological factors that seem to influence marital stability to a person’s psychological response after flirting with a stranger.
Their findings suggest that while some people may be naturally more resistant to temptation, men and women can also train themselves to protect their relationships and raise their feelings of commitment.
Recent studies have raised questions about whether genetic factors may influence commitment and marital stability. Hasse Walum, a biologist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, studied 552 sets of twins to learn more about a gene related to the body’s regulation of the brain chemical vasopressin, a bonding hormone.
Overall, men who carried a variation in the gene were less likely to be married, and those who had wed were more likely to have had serious marital problems and unhappy wives.