A new study finds that a threatening environment, such as the recession, causes men to want to cheat. The new research will appear in the November issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
“The study, by Omri Gillath of the University of Kansas, is founded in evolutionary psychology, arguing that when faced with a threatening environment, men are hard-wired to seek short-term mating strategies to ensure their genes survive.”
“We’re biologically wired to reproduce, and the environment tells us the best strategy to use to make sure our genes are passed on,” Gillath told Science Daily. “When the environment is secure and you have enough food and things are working the way you would like them to, people are more likely to invest in their existing kids and stay with their current partner or prefer long-term mating strategies,” said Gillath. “But if the environment is dangerous and your chances of survival are low — if there is a famine or more enemies — then people will adopt short-term strategies which allow them to reproduce more.”
The article points out that this research disagrees with another sex expert who thinks that failing as a provider actually kills a man’s libido.
“The findings seem to contradict advice Dr. Drew’s sex expert, Simone Bienne, gave last month. In an article entitled “Men Going Through A Sex Recession,” Bienne told women that the recession has cause squelched male libido. “When men don’t feel like they can provide for their families, they can lose their mojo,” she said, adding that “Stress is the biggest libido zapper we know, and for a man, it’s specifically cash flow and work-related issues that can bring his drive way down.”
Based on friends who have gone through husbands losing jobs or taking tremendous pay cuts, I tend to agree with Bienne more so than the Kansas study. The men feel terrible about themselves. They aren’t communicating well with their wives and the wives are mad and the whole relationship is out of kilter. (So maybe then they do cheat?)
“Shape” magazine offers a different view on the recession and sex. It says that women are actually having sex 17 percent than the average man since the recession. And the survey says women are equally attracted to a partner who has been laid off.
“If their sex drives have intensified since the recession began, men may be in good company: A survey of over 3,000 readers of Shape and Men’s Fitness magazines on sex and the recession from 2009 found that “women are having sex 17 percent more than the average man since the recession.” But the same survey also showed that most women are equally attracted to the partner if he has been laid off, suggesting that unlike for men, the detected increase in libido wouldn’t necessarily induce women to stray.”
“The creators of the survey partially attributed the increase in women’s libidos to their greater willingness to openly discuss what they are worried about, thereby alleviating stress and advised men to talk more about their anxieties.”
I think this depends on if they blame their husbands for the economic downturn or if they still feel like they are on the same team. The “Shape” editor suggests that couples should weather the stress together by having sex.
So what do you think? What have you experienced?
Has the recession cause your husband or other husbands to cheat to protect his genes?
Does he feel so crappy about his lack of ability to provide that he doesn’t want to have sex?
Is a wife as attracted to a husband without a job as one with one?
Are you having more sex during the recession?