The psychological reasons behind why we cheat


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The psychological reasons behind why we cheat

‘Once a cheat, always a cheat’ actually has genetic reasoning

According to a recent US Survey, 54 per cent of women and 57 per cent of men have admitted to cheating on their partner in any relationship they’ve had.

So despite cheating being a huge no in most relationships, why do people still cheat? According to AsapScience, there is legit scientific reasoning behind why people commit infidelity.


The phrase “once a cheat, always a cheat” actually has some solid scientific evidence behind it now, and it’s partly to do with the Dopamine receptor.

This hormone can play a key role in why both men and women cheat – it’s the happy hormone, so is released when eating food, after exercising, and sex – any pleasurable activity can release this hormone.

In a recent study, it was found that 50 per cent of people who had the long allele of this gene had cheated on their partner, compared to just 22 per cent of people who had the short allele.

This is significant because those that have the longer version of the allele, need more stimulation to release the happy hormone – and so are more likely to turn to cheating, and have one night stands etc.


Hormones are also a really key reason as to why people cheat.

Vasopressin is a hormone that is ridiculously similar to the “cuddle hormone”, Oxytocin. This hormone is linked to trust, empathy, and social bonding. So, pretty much everything that a relationship is built on.

Low levels of this hormone have been linked to cheating, as shown in a 2014 study of 7,000 Finnish twins – cheating women have a suppressant receptor of the hormone.

Our brains

So, according to biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, during mating there are three main brain systems in use.

These are feelings of romantic love, the sex drive, and then deep attachment.

However, these systems can be in place, but not work towards the same goal (that being your partner) – so you could have the feelings of romantic love towards your bae, but also have sexual feelings towards someone else -which could make you cheat.


Annoyingly, money is an issue here too.

Apparently if a male has a significantly higher income than their partner, then they are more likely to cheat. But, they’re also more likely to cheat if they’re a stay at home Dad. In fact, apparently, partners are only less likely to cheat if the incomes are more or less the same.

Clearly there is some kind of superiority/inferiority complex that is involved in cheating that derives around money.