Lots of us know what it’s like to catch our husbands looking at other women. It’s frustrating, can leave us feeling miserable and unhappy, but there is a scientific reason why it happens. Believe it or not, it doesn’t have as much to do with your appearance as you might think.
A study that was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavoir had both men and women look at pictures of people that were of the opposite sex. They were then asked to rate the attractiveness of each person. Women in the study tended to rate pictures of men as more attractive the second time they looked at them, but men who were asked rated the women they looked at as more attractive after the first time they looked at them.
According to the researchers, this suggests that while women preferred familiarity, men preferred the novelty of a woman.
A second study found that men thought women were more attractive when they didn’t look like their current partner, but women found men that looked more like their current partner more attractive. It seems quite surprising, doesn’t it? But it might not be so surprising when you consider evolution.
According to Andrew Little, a research fellow for the school of psychology at University of Stirling, as well as the study’s author, women generally prefer familiarity because they know how a person is going to behave. Men like novelty in the way that women look because evolution has trained them to increase the number of children they have.
In other words, men want to – well, breed with women that they haven’t already been with. Over the history of humans, men have felt the “need” to give their seed opportunities to thrive, and often, that would mean procreating with more than one woman.
Even though it’s a familiar story, men feel the need to breed with as many women as possible, and women want a man that will be around to be a provider. Does this mean that every man will cheat on their partner?
Little says that according to research both women and men will cheat on their partners at least some times. There are many different reasons for this, including unhappiness in relationships, attention seeking, jealousy, and power, as well as many other reasons.
While the study doesn’t suggest that your guy is secretly enjoying one-nighters, it does help to explain part of the reason why many men’s eyes tend to stray.