We have heard about the God gene and the gay gene — though each has been met with significant skepticism. Now comes news of a gene that Swedish researchers are touting as a possible biological basis for why some guys won’t settle down.
I know this sort of thing falls on the deaf ears of biologically centered researchers all too eager to find the gene that makes some people sing in the shower, the gene that makes some people cut others off on the interstate and the gene that makes people patronize Starbucks for the privilege of waiting in line for 30 minutes and tipping the Barista for a hugely overpaid cup of coffee that tastes burnt, but genes don’t explain behavior. There is no genetic basis for most of the behaviors that have been discovered, there are genetic correlations. The only cases where there is a genetic basis for behavior is when the person in question carries the genes for a biologically based condition that disrupts normal functioning, such as schizophrenia. Lack of commitment is not in the genes, it’s a learned behavior. As are most of the behaviors that make up the weird and wacky world of human behavior and misbehavior. Using genetic correlation to find the gene that makes people sneeze in your face without covering their mouths is a waste of time except for researchers in Sweden looking to get their 15 minutes.