Karolinska Institute 'Divorce Gene' Study Finds Divorce Cause

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Headline is a bit much, but it's interesting that oxytocin is implicated.

Swedish scientists have discovered a gene that may explain why some women have a hard time committing, or staying committed, should they marry.

According to UK newspaper The Daily Mail, a team of researchers at Sweden's Karolinska Institute examined the DNA of more than 1,800 women and their partners. Each couple had been together for more than five years, and were either married or living together.

The researchers found that women who possessed a variation of the oxytocin receptor gene known as A-allele were less likely to get married due to difficulty bonding with other people. Those with the gene who did marry were were 50 percent more likely to report "marital crisis or threat of divorce."

So what is oxytocin? Called the "cuddle chemical" and "hormone of love and bonding" by scientists, oxytocin promotes feelings of love, bonding and maternal affection in women, who produce it naturally, especially during childbirth and while breastfeeding.

The Swedish scientists believe the A-allele gene affects how women process oxytocin; if a woman can't process the hormone properly, it could affect her ability to bond with others, including her spouse.

It's not the first time the Karolinska Institute has endeavored to find a biological basis for commitment fears. In 2008, lead researcher Hasse Walum's team discovered a link between a variation in the AVPR1A gene -- which has been linked to autism and social interaction -- and the likelihood that men will leave their partners or report marital problems should they wed.

The Swedish study is only the latest research on divorce and commitment. For more divorce findings, click through our top 11 studies of last year:


My exwife had that variation.

I never felt that she bonded to me or our first born, and divorced within five years.
Eventually we returned to honoring each other and were thankful for what the adventure taught us. Even though we divorced, the association had a huge net positive on the direction of our lives. So now I associate upheaval with a learning opportunity. If the variation had shown on the outside, it would have made no difference. We were bound to experience each other and work through the karma we has set up in previous lives. Now it is done, and with gratitude.

I'm grateful science is

I'm grateful science is making these awesome discoveries leading towards understanding and love, and I can see a huge positive, adventuresome, creative difference they make now and will continue to make for those who choose to use them as tools on this life adventure, including understanding each other better "from the outside" or from any side. And they show the depths of what humanity is really made of and invite us to let more of that light back in. And I'm grateful for the remarkable adventures that intimately-matched couples can go on when they find each other. The sooner they do, the greater and sooner the adventure. Also grateful we can all march to the beat of our own drum. Because years ago I became grateful to have stopped believing in the excuse of karma and past lives theory to justify human voids in a natural state of harmony and expansion. But for those who want to continue to experience mismatches and children without bonded mothers so they can eventually experience gratitude, that's what free will is for.