Scientists Find 'Divorce Gene'

Gene linked to poor bonding
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2008 5:26 AM CDT
Scientists believe they have isolated a gene connected with marriage and commitment - and a variation that may be linked with divorce.   ((c) kevindooley)
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(Newser) – Some men may be hard-wired to form strong marital bonds and others more genetically likely to divorce—or never marry, according to a new study. Researchers have found that men with a variant of a gene linked to a hormone released during sex were less likely to develop strong emotional bonds with sexual partners, reports Health Day. Scientists believe the hormone vasopressin drives a "prolonged social interaction" with a partner that's triggered by sex.

Women married to men carrying the "poorer bonding" form of a vasopressin receptor gene also reported "lower scores on level of marital quality," according to the study in Proceedings of the National Academies of Science. The gene variant "can't be used to predict how someone will behave in a future relationship," but it's "certainly going to be used" as an excuse by men, quipped one of the researchers.