Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Happy in marriage? Genetics may play a role

Researchers from Yale University studied genetic variants of oxytocin which affects social bonding. For this experiment, the researchers observed a group of 178 married couples. These couples ranged in age from 37-90 years old. The married couples took a survey that asked questions based on their marital satisfaction. The researchers also collected a saliva sample for genotyping. When just one partner had the GG genotype for OXTR rs53576, the oxytocin receptor variant, the couple reported an increase in marital satisfaction. People with the GG genotype also had less anxious attachment which contributed to their marital satisfaction as well. Researchers have determined that the GG genotype accounted for about 4% of marital satisfaction in couples. Researchers still find this percentage significant when comparing the rest of the other genetic and environmental factors that couples have to endure.  

I have heard about oxytocin before and how it plays a role in attraction in relationships. However, I have not heard about how oxytocin affects the overall marital satisfaction in couples. I did not know that scientists could test for the “attraction” of couples. I thought that marriages were mostly based on psychological reasons. I think that it would be interesting to test for different hormones in divorced couples to learn why certain people are not a good “fit” for each other. In a few years, I think that researchers will be able to pick partners for each other based on genotypic testing.

1 comment:

  1. This is fascinating how the study used saliva samples from married couples for oxytocin genotyping and accounted their marital satisfaction. I would like to read more information about OXTR rs53576 and how it influences relationship outcomes over time through both positive and negative experiences.