Have you ever wondered why there are people out there who seem destined to live a life of “single blessedness?” A new study suggests it could be written, not in the stars, but in people’s genes.
Scientists from the Peking University in Beijing think they have found a “singleton” gene which directly influences a person’s ability to commit and maintain a relationship.
Taking hair samples from around 600 students, the scientists closely analyzed the 5-HTA1 gene which regulates the amount of serotonin—also known as the “happy hormone”—in people’s brains.
It is believed having lower levels of serotonin make it harder for people to look for and stay in a relationship.
Accordingly, the scientists found two variants of the gene—“G” and “C”—which influenced a person’s singleness. 60 percent of the students who possessed the “G” variant were found to be single, as against the 50 percent of the “C” variant group.
Although the 10 percent difference may not look big, it becomes hugely significant especially when the results are applied to the population at large, the scientists said.
Previously, it was already discovered that those who had the “G” variant produce less serotonin, are less likely to get along with others, and are more neurotic and melancholic.
Although the scientists conceded that outside influences (peer and parental pressure, etc.) may also play a role, they said the study provides a glimpse of “genetic contribution to social relationships in certain contexts.”
They added more research is needed, since their study was small in scale and only involved students.
Experts who did not participate in the study also weighed in their opinion.
Dr. Pam Spurr, relationship guru, said while genes may play a role in people’s relationships, the deciding factor in the end will have to be their own independent choice.