As if you needed another reason to hate the current economy. Could these troubled times actually prompt your husband to start cheating on you--blaming evolution for his infidelity?
A new study out of the University of Kansas suggests it's possible. Researchers found that when men get stressed and start thinking about death and survival--topics that often surface during tough times--they became more inclined to adopt short-term mating strategies. In other words, they start having the unconscious urge to hook up with as many women as possible, even if they're already in a relationship.
All in the name of perpetuating the species--and their gene pool--of course.
"Think of it as having limited resources and men have to decide what to do with these resources," explains study author and social psychology professor Omri Gillath. "Option one, use them to support current wife and kids. Option two, use them to gain access to new potential mates and have more kids. Men, according to our studies are inclined to prefer option two...when chances of survival are low."
The study, set to be published in The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, had both men and women think about their own deaths, then followed up by exposing them to sexual imagery and measuring their arousal. However, unlike the men, women did not show an increase in sexual response when given these death cues.
Again, Gillath says we have evolution to blame.
"Women, even if they wanted to, can’t pass their genes forward in a relatively short amount of time. Therefore, we found this effect (immediate threat leading to wanting more sex) only among men," says Gillath.
And, by the way, sexual promiscuity isn't all you have to worry about when it comes to your husband. A new study out of the University of Miami found financial troubles and unemployment can also lead to an increased rate of alcohol abuse and risky behaviors like drunk driving.
Here's hoping things get better soon!