Cheaters all over Sydney are scrambling for excuses after it was revealed to be a hot spot for infidelity website Ashley Madison.
It appears the city’s hitched population was signing up in droves, but now that the site’s database has been upended, their simple motto “Life’s Short, Have an Affair” has shown things are more complicated.
Although there are multiple reasons people resort to cheating, research is suggesting one could be hormones. A study published this month by Harvard and the University of Texas, Austin, probed unethical behavior in depth to find out what role our hormones play in making decisions we clearly understand to be wrong.
Scientists conducted salivary tests looking at the hormones cortisol and testosterone, and discovered they play a dual role in encouraging and reinforcing cheating. Initially cortisol ‘stress’ levels rise to predict cheating behaviour and then morph into elevated testosterone levels that reinforce it.
Robert Josephs, UT Austin Professor of Psychology said, “Testosterone furnishes this courage to cheat, and elevated cortisol provides a reason to cheat,’ he said. “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 behaviour.”
So today millions of people would be checking to see if they or their partners have a spot on the infamous database. So don’t be surprise if you hear “it’s my hormones fault ”across Sydney today.
Should biology give cheaters a free pass?