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Genetics can determine the happiness of a marriage

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The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, March 9, 2019  /  09:15 pm
Genetics can determine the happiness of a marriage

A new study examined influencing factors for a long-term happiness after getting married. Apparently, genetics is among the determinants. (Shutterstock/justsolove)

Similar interests, physical attraction or shared values – there are many reasons why we fall in love. But whether the relationship will last is another story. A new study reveals the influencing factors for long-term happiness after getting married.

Apparently, genetics is among the determinants.

Science Daily reports that researchers of the Yale School of Public Health examined the influence of a genetic variation affecting oxytocin. This hormone is essential in people ́s social bonding. In the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, 178 married couples ranging in age from 37 to 90 years old were surveyed.

First, all participants were asked about their feelings of marital security and satisfaction. Additionally, they gave a saliva sample for genotyping.

“In marriage, people are also influenced by their own and their partner’s genetic predispositions,” Joan Monin, lead author and associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health,  said as quoted by Science Daily.

The study revealed that a genetic variation known as the GG genotype within the oxytocin gene receptor can be responsible for a couple ́s marital satisfaction. When at least one partner had this GG genotype, the surveyed couple reported more and stronger feelings of security within their marriage.

Also, people having the GG genotype feel less anxious, and that also benefits the relationship.

“Anxious attachment is a style of relationship insecurity that develops from past experiences with close family members and partners over the life course, and is associated with diminished self-worth, high rejection sensitivity, and approval-seeking behavior,” Monin said.

Read also: Tea or coffee? The answer might be genetic

All in all, participants having the GG genotype were more satisfied than couples with different genotypes. The oxytocin receptor variant OXTR rs53576 has been linked to emotional stability, empathy and sociability.

The research team also included Trace Kershaw and Andrew T. DeWan of the Yale School of Public Health, and Selin Gotkas, of the Yale School of Medicine. The study was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging and Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center at Yale. (sop/mut)

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