“Wait! Baby! It’s not my fault! I didn’t mean it…” He begs as you slam the door in his face.
You wipe the tears from your face as you angrily pace around the room. How the hell could he do this to you? You never thought he would cheat and yet here you are, wondering what you did wrong. Why you were so stupid. Why you trusted him. As he pounds on the door swearing up and down that it wasn’t his fault, you can’t help but roll your eyes. Not his fault? Like he didn’t have a choice? Like he was biologically programmed to cheat? Like he just couldn’t help himself? Psh. What. fucking. ever. It’s all just bullshit excuses, right?
Wrong. According to our on-again-off-again friend, science, it’s not bullshit. Not at all.
In a recent study conducted by the University of Texas at Austin, he’s not to blame for his infidelity. His hormones are.
Researchers asked 117 participants to take a math test, and then self-grade and report their scores. The more correct scores they got, the more money they would receive. AKA a cheater’s dream come true. After completing the exam, scientists took saliva samples from all of the participants. The findings? All of the cheaters had elevated levels of testosterone and cortisol.
From Medical Daily:
“Elevated testosterone decreases the fear of punishment while increasing sensitivity to reward. Elevated cortisol is linked to an uncomfortable state of chronic stress that can be extremely debilitating,” Josephs said. “Testosterone furnishes the courage to cheat, and elevated cortisol provides a reason to cheat.”
Additionally, participants who cheated showed lowered levels of cortisol and reported reductions in emotional distress after the test, as if cheating provided some sort of stress relief.
“The stress reduction is accompanied by a powerful stimulation of the reward centers in the brain, so these physiological psychological changes have the unfortunate consequence of reinforcing the unethical behavior,” Josephs said.
So basically, their hormones make them cheat, and then their hormones make them feel good about the whole thing. According to the study, if we decreased hormones, their likelihood of cheating would go down. And unfortunately, threats, “passionate talks,” and guilting him won’t really make a difference when it comes to his fidelity. So either we date a guy with low testosterone (who is more likely to cry and ask if clothes make him look fat) or we stay in this cycle of being cheated on because “he didn’t mean it.”
Yeah. It’s official. We’re all going to die alone.
Thanks a lot, science..