Hey Baby, Is It in the Genes or the Jeans?

Study Links Gene Variant in Men to Marital Discord

By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 2, 2008; A02
Men are more likely to be devoted and loyal husbands when they lack a particular variant of a gene that influences brain activity, researchers announced yesterday — the first time that science has shown a direct link between a man’s genes and his aptitude for monogamy.

The finding is striking because it not only links the gene variant — which is present in two of every five men — with the risk of marital discord and divorce, but also appears to predict whether women involved with these men are likely to say their partners are emotionally close and available, or distant and disagreeable.

“Men with two copies of the allele had twice the risk of experiencing marital dysfunction, with a threat of divorce during the last year, compared to men carrying one or no copies,”

. . .
The finding set off a debate about whether people should conduct genetic tests to find out whether potential mates are bad marriage prospects.

–read entire article–


Well, there you have it. In a society that values predictability above all other social variants, this is bound to be a booming (perhaps even bubble) market. A prick of the finger, a little DNA study, a prenuptial agreement, a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants and–bingo–marital fidelity.

Gone are the nasty old possibilities of mentoring your mate. Bye-bye to the interesting process of watching a partner grow, even if the growing is away from a current mate. Marriage is no longer a guessing-game, where woman and man continue to court one another in the very real possibility of split.

What is it they used to call it? The chemistry of people in love? Not any more, babe. Fidelity has moved from the jeans to the genes and, if that’s a good idea, count me out.

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