advertisement
Home » News » Male Hormones May Discourage Adultery with Friends’ Wives

Male Hormones May Discourage Adultery with Friends’ Wives

Male Hormones Discourage Adultery with Friends WivesWhile hormones and their influence on a woman’s mental and physical health has been an area of contemporary focus, new attention is now being placed on male biological changes and how they influence social interactions and amorous relationships.

A University of Missouri study suggests that after a spike of testosterone in adolescence, male adulthood is characterized by biological changes designed to avoid amorous attractions to the wife next door.

Researchers found adult males’ testosterone levels dropped when they were interacting with the marital partner of a close friend.

Social scientists believe that understanding the biological mechanisms that keep men from constantly competing for each others’ wives may shed light on how people manage to cooperate on the levels of neighborhoods, cities and even globally.

“Although men have many chances to pursue a friend’s mate, propositions for adultery are relatively rare on a per opportunity basis,” said Mark Flinn, Ph.D., professor of anthropology.

“Men’s testosterone levels generally increase when they are interacting with a potential sexual partner or an enemy’s mate. However, our findings suggest that men’s minds have evolved to foster a situation where the stable pair bonds of friends are respected.”

Flinn says that these findings might help solve global problems.

“Ultimately, our findings about testosterone levels illuminate how people have evolved to form alliances,” said Flinn.

“Using that biological understanding of human nature, we can look for ways to solve global problems. The same physiological mechanisms that allow villages of families to coexist and cooperate can also allow groups like NATO and the U.N. to coordinate efforts to solve common problems.

“The more we view the Earth as a single community of people, the greater our ability to solve mutual threats, such as climate change.”

Evolutionarily, men who were constantly betraying their friends’ trust and endangering the stability of families may have caused a survival disadvantage for their entire communities, according to Flinn.

A community of men who didn’t trust each other would be brittle and vulnerable to attack and conquest. The costs of an untrustworthy reputation would have outweighed the benefits of having extra offspring with a friend’s conjugal companion.

For example, a cautionary tale of the dangers of adultery can be found in the myth of Camelot. Sir Lancelot betrayed King Arthur by seducing Guinevere. Soon after, the fellowship of the Knights of the Round Table disintegrated and the kingdom fell. The alliance of powerful males could not hold once trust had been lost.

The study is found in the journal Human Nature.

Source: University of Missouri

Abstract of a man’s body photo by shutterstock.

Male Hormones May Discourage Adultery with Friends’ Wives

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Male Hormones May Discourage Adultery with Friends’ Wives. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 15, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2013/03/25/male-hormones-may-discourage-adultery-with-friends-wives/53007.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.