FACT CHECK: No, Women Do Not ‘Store DNA’ From Sexual Partners

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Instagram claims a study shows women “store DNA” from every man they’ve had sex with.


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Verdict: False

The claim is inaccurate. It was originally posted by a website, since deleted, that was known for spreading misinformation.

Fact Check:

Ancient DNA recently discovered suggests that syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection with unclear origins, actually originated from the Americas, according to CNN. Scientists have discovered 2,000-year-old bones with the earliest known evidence of the bacterium that causes syphilis, the outlet reported.

An Instagram post claims women “store DNA” from having sex with men. The post shows infrared images of people and body parts.

It also shows what appears to be a headline, reading, “Women Store DNA From Every Man They’ve Ever Made Love With, Study Finds.”

The claim appears to stem from a 2018 Neon Nettle article, which has since been deleted. The Neon Nettle site appears to have been deactivated, but is listed in a Misinformation Directory published by FactCheck.org. The article says the site posted “inflammatory political stories, many with misinformation, about the U.S. and U.K.” 

This claim was also reported by YourNewsWire, another site mentioned in the list from FactCheck.org. The site has gone through multiple name changes, once known as NewsPunch and now The People’s Voice. A 2019 article from Mashable dubbed the site “one of the most well-known purveyors of fake news online.”

Both sites reference a 2012 study that found the presence of male microchimerism in female brains. This is not caused by having sex with men, however. “The most likely source of male Mc in female brain is a woman’s acquisition of male DNA from pregnancy with a male fetus,” the study reads.

There are no credible news reports about these alleged study findings. (RELATED: Did Cnn Report The Russians Gave Brittney Griner A DNA Test To Determine Her Gender?)

Check Your Fact has reached out to several experts on gynecology and genealogy for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter