Writing Blog

November 2, 2009

Mate Retention Behavior

Filed under: Psychology,Society — Rafael Minuesa @ 3:31 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,
This is one of a series of articles I posted for Guy.com.
You can view the original version at:
* http://dev.guy.com/2009/11/02/mate-retention-behavior/

Sometimes too much sex is a bad thing

Sometimes too much sex is a bad thing

According to a study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, men with very attractive partners typically have a lot more sex, or to be more correct, frequent in-pair copulations (IPC), as the scientists that conducted the study call it, than the average guy. But not for the reasons you might be thinking of.

The study, ”Female attractiveness mediates the relationship between in-pair copulation frequency and men’s mate retention behaviors” co-authored by Farnaz Kaighobadi and Todd K. Shackelforda from the Evolutionary Psychology Lab at Florida Atlantic University, is one of numerous studies that pursue several lines of research including sexual conflict, sperm competition, infidelity and sexual jealousy, mate retention, intimate partner violence and homicide, and mate preferences and mate selection. The focus on this research has been on men’s mate retention behavior.

As Kaighobadi explains:

”More attractive women are more likely to be pursued as mates by men other than their long-term partner and, therefore, to place their partner at greater risk of cuckoldry (investing unwittingly in a child to whom he is genetically unrelated).

Men partnered to more attractive women perform more mate retention behaviors – behaviors designed to thwart a woman’s infidelity. With greater risk of female infidelity, men may perform additional anti-cuckoldry tactics such as frequent in-pair copulations (IPC).”

The team secured self-reports from 277 hetero men in a long-term relationship and investigated several factors such as the relationship between female partner’s attractiveness and IPC frequency and the mediating role of female partner’s attractiveness on the relationship between IPC frequency and male mate retention behaviors. The results indicated that female attractiveness predicts IPC frequency and partially mediates the relationship between IPC frequency and male mate retention behaviors.

Guys reported having sex with their partners about 3.3 times a week. On a scale of 0 to 9, guys also rated their partner’s attractiveness to an average of 7.9. The researchers noted that with each point jump in attractiveness rating, the frequency of sex climbed by a revealing 40 percent.

So, according to the researchers, it’s all about “mate retention behavior”, an instinctual way of acting towards your sexual partner that traces back to Paleolithic times. All that sex is really about marking your territory and trying to keep her from leaving you to mate with another man.

In other words, the prettier she is, the more you’ll feel inclined to have sex with her, the reason being that you subconsciously are trying to keep her contented. Or at least that’s the interpretation from a group of in-doors scientists who, for example, when it comes to name ”sex-on-a-regular-basis”, they choose to label it as ”frequent in-pair copulations”. Isn’t that a clue that perhaps these scientists are out of touch with reality and might be missing the obvious?

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