NCBI ROFL: The best men are (not always) already taken: female preference for single versus attached males depends on conception risk.

By ncbi rofl | January 20, 2012 7:22 pm

“Because men of higher genetic quality tend to be poorer partners and parents than men of lower genetic quality, women may profit from securing a stable investment from the latter, while obtaining good genes via extrapair mating with the former. Only if conception occurs, however, do the evolutionary benefits of such a strategy overcome its costs. Accordingly, we predicted that (a) partnered women should prefer attached men, because such men are more likely than single men to have pair-bonding qualities, and hence to be good replacement partners, and (b) this inclination should reverse when fertility rises, because attached men are less available for impromptu sex than single men. In this study, 208 women rated the attractiveness of men described as single or attached. As predicted, partnered women favored attached men at the low-fertility phases of the menstrual cycle, but preferred single men (if masculine, i.e., advertising good genetic quality) when conception risk was high.”

Photo: Flickr/MikeCrane83

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  • Matthew

    “Because men of higher genetic quality tend to be poorer partners and parents than men of lower genetic quality…”
    Wait, how do we know that?!  Has that been tested?  That’s quite a leap, you know.

    • http://stephan-zielinski.com/ Stephan Zielinski

      Come.  Sit.  Have some delicious evolutionary psychology Kool-Aid.  Let’s sing a wonderful song!  “Biology is destiny, this I know / Because Just So Stories tell me so”…

    • BJM

      “That’s quite a leap, you know”

      I agree.  I would think that genes coding for  a poor partner and poor parent would be poor genes.

  • Locke

    Citations? Evidence? No mention of the obvious like peers and alcohol?

    • Matthew

      I wouldn’t expect all that in an abstract, but if it’s not in the article itself, I would be VERY concerned.

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