Advertisement

Human Nature

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 476–485 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Objective Sperm Competition Risk and Men’s Copulatory Interest Is Moderated by Partner’s Time Spent with Other Men

  • Michael N. PhamEmail author
  • Todd K. Shackelford
Article

Abstract

Men who spend a greater proportion of time apart from their female partner since the couple’s last copulation are at greater “objective” sperm competition risk. We propose a novel cue to sperm competition risk: the time she spends with her male friends. Four hundred and twenty men in a committed, heterosexual, sexual relationship completed a questionnaire. The results indicate that men at greater objective sperm competition risk report less time desired until the couple’s next copulation, greater interest in copulating with their partner, and greater anger, frustration, and upset in response to their partner’s sexual rejection, but only among men whose partner spends more time with her male friends. These results remain after controlling statistically for the participant’s age and their partner’s age. We discuss limitations of the current research, and discuss how research in human sperm competition can inform social issues, including men’s partner-directed sexual coercion.

Keywords

Evolutionary psychology Sperm competition Female infidelity Male friends 

References

  1. Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Baker, R. R., & Bellis, M. A. (1993). Human sperm competition: ejaculate adjustment by males and the function of masturbation. Animal Behaviour, 46, 861–885.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Camilleri, J. A. (2004). Investigating sexual coercion in romantic relationships: A test of the cuckoldry risk hypothesis. (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.Google Scholar
  4. Camilleri, J. A., & Quinsey, V. L. (2009). Testing the cuckoldry risk hypothesis of partner sexual coercion in community and forensic samples. Evolutionary Psychology, 7, 164–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Finkelhor, D., & Yllo, K. (1985). License to rape: Sexual abuse of wives. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.Google Scholar
  6. Frieze, I. H. (1983). Investigating the causes and consequences of marital rape. Signs, 8, 532–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gage, A. J., & Hutchinson, P. L. (2006). Power, control, and intimate partner sexual violence in Haiti. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 35, 11–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Goetz, A. T., & Shackelford, T. K. (2006). Sexual coercion and forced in-pair copulation as sperm competition tactics in humans. Human Nature, 17, 265–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Goetz, A. T., & Shackelford, T. K. (2009). Sexual coercion in intimate relationships: a comparative analysis of the effects of women’s infidelity and men’s dominance and control. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38, 26–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Goetz, A. T., Shackelford, T. K., & Camilleri, J. A. (2008). Proximate and ultimate explanations are required for a comprehensive understanding of partner rape. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 13, 119–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hällström, T., & Samuelsson, S. (1990). Changes in women’s sexual desire in middle life: the longitudinal study of women in Gothenburg. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 19, 259–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kaighobadi, F., Shackelford, T. K., Popp, D., Moyer, R. M., Bates, V. M., & Liddle, J. R. (2009). Perceived risk of female infidelity moderates the relationship between men’s personality and partner-directed violence. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 1033–1039.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lalumière, M. L., Harris, G. T., Quinsey, V. L., & Rice, M. E. (2005). The causes of rape: understanding individual differences in male propensity for sexual aggression. The Journal of Psychiatry and Law, 33, 419–426.Google Scholar
  14. Lewis, R. W., Fugl-Meyer, K. S., Bosch, R., Fugl-Meyer, A. R., Laumann, E. O., Lizza, E., et al. (2004). Epidemiology/risk factors of sexual dysfunction. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 1, 35–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McKibbin, W. F., Bates, V. M., Shackelford, T. K., LaMunyon, C. W., & Hafen, C. A. (2010). Risk of sperm competition moderates the relationship between men’s satisfaction with their partner and men’s interest in their partner’s copulatory orgasm. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 961–966.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. McKibbin, W. F., Starratt, V. G., Shackelford, T. K., & Goetz, A. T. (2011). Perceived risk of female infidelity moderates the relationship between objective risk of female infidelity and sexual coercion in humans (Homo sapiens). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 125, 370–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Parker, G. G. (1970). Sperm competition and its evolutionary consequences in the insects. Biological Review, 45, 525–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Russell, D. E. H. (1982). Rape in marriage. New York: Macmillan Press.Google Scholar
  19. Shackelford, T. K., LeBlanc, G. J., Weekes-Shackelford, V. A., Bleske-Rechek, A. L., Euler, H. A., & Hoier, S. (2002). Psychological adaptation to human sperm competition. Evolution and Human Behavior, 23, 123–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Shackelford, T. K., Goetz, A. T., McKibbin, W. F., & Starratt, V. G. (2007). Absence makes the adaptations grow fonder: proportion of time apart from partner, male sexual psychology, and sperm competition in humans (Homo sapiens). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 121, 214–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Smith, R. L. (1984). Human sperm competition. In R. L. Smith (Ed.), Sperm competition and the evolution of animal mating systems (pp. 601–659). New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  22. Starratt, V. G., Goetz, A. T., Shackelford, T. K., & Stewart-Williams, S. (2008). Men’s partner-directed insults and sexual coercion in intimate relationships. Journal of Family Violence, 23, 315–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Starratt, V. G., McKibbin, W. F., & Shackelford, T. K. (2013). Experimental manipulation of psychological mechanisms responsive to female infidelity. Personality and Individual Differences, 55, 59–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA

Personalised recommendations