Love & War: Does the Mate-Switching Hypothesis Explain Female Infidelity?

Evolutionary theory says men stray to increase offspring, but what motivates women? Enter the mate-switching hypothesis.

David Buss is professor of psychology at University of Texas, Austin. His work has been published widely in journals and he is the author of several books, including The Evolution of Desire: Strategies in Human Mating (new edition, 2016). Edited by Pam Weintraub

writes: Scientists now know much about human mating. The menu includes at a minimum: brief sexual flings, long-term pair-bonding, some infidelity, some polygyny (one man, multiple wives), rare polyandry (one woman, multiple husbands), occasional polyamory, some divorce, and frequent serial mating. These strategies are not well-captured by single labels such as ‘monogamous’ or ‘polygamous’. And we know with reasonable certainty that lifelong monogamy does not describe the primary pattern.

Divorce rates in the United States have hovered just below 50 per cent, and are variable but comparable across cultures around the globe. Among married couples, infidelity is far from a trivial occurrence. In 1952, the sexologist Alfred Kinsey estimated it at 26 per cent for women and 50 per cent for men, although other studies put rates lower or higher. We know that infidelity is the leading cause of divorce worldwide, from the Inuit in Alaska to the !Kung San of Botswana. And we know that most adults in the modern world, including roughly 85 per cent in the US, have experienced at least one romantic break-up.

But there has always been one missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding mating strategies, especially among women. Why do women have so many affairs when these do not increase the number of offspring they can produce?

From an evolutionary perspective, male infidelity is fairly straightforward. Men have evolved a strong desire for sexual variety, stronger than women’s on average, due to the large asymmetries in parental investment. Men can reproduce with as little effort as it takes to inseminate a fertile woman. Women require a metabolically costly nine-month pregnancy to produce a single child. Stated differently, an ancestral married man with two children could have increased his reproductive output by 50 per cent by a single successful reproduction with an affair partner. Adding additional sex partners for women who already have one generally does not, and never could have, dramatically increased their reproductive success.

Yet women do have affairs, a phenomenon that, up until now, has been explained by the ‘good genes hypothesis’: the concept that women have evolved a dual mating strategy – securing investment from one man while mating on the side with men who have better genes than their regular partners.

But the good genes hypothesis fails to explain why, in the wake of infidelity, so many women literally stray, throwing over a current mate for the affair partner. My team’s new concept – the mate-switching hypothesis – fills the gap in scientific understanding, explaining what we observe in the real world. The mate-switching hypothesis posits that women have affairs to extricate themselves from a poor mateship and trade up to a better partner.

For both sexes, the hypothesis explains what we commonly observe: a year after publicly declaring her marriage vows, a woman finds herself sexually attracted to her co-worker. After changing his child’s fifth diaper of the day, a man wonders whether he made a terrible mistake and fantasises about his high-school sweetheart that got away. After six years of marriage, a woman finds that she’s the primary breadwinner and her husband’s laziness has eroded her confidence in their union; she notices that her co-worker lingers longer in the doorway of her office than strictly needed. After years of living a life of quiet desperation, a man starts a passionate affair with his next-door neighbour. A woman confesses to her best friend that she’s in love with another man and surreptitiously lays the groundwork for leaving her husband – a separate bank account and a deposit on an apartment.

These diverse scenarios stem from a common cause – humans have evolved strategic adaptations for mate-switching, a phenomenon that is widespread across species. The simplest such adaptation is the ‘walk-away’ strategy, in which organisms simply physically separate themselves from costly cooperative partners. The mate-switching hypothesis proposes a version of the walk-away strategy underpinned by human psychological adaptations designed to detect and abandon costly mates in favour of more beneficial ones.

Many in modern cultures grow up believing a myth about lifelong love. We are told about falling for the one and only. We learn that the path to fulfilment is paved with a single glorious union. But the plots of fictional love stories often come to a close upon the discovery of that one and only, and rarely examine the aftermath. The story of Cinderella ends with her getting the prince. After overcoming countless obstacles, a union is finally consummated. Few romantic fantasies follow the storyline of committed mating – the gradual inattentiveness to each other’s needs, the steady decline in sexual satisfaction, the exciting lure of infidelity, the wonder about whether the humdrum greyness of married life is really all life has to offer.

In fact, we come from a long and unbroken line of ancestors who went through mating crises – ancestors who monitored mate value, tracked satisfaction with their current unions, cultivated back-ups, appraised alternatives, and switched mates when conditions proved propitious. To understand why, we must turn our gaze to those ancestors and uncover the mating challenges that they confronted. Read the rest of this entry »


Camille Paglia: Feminism, Free Women and Free Speech 

Foto: TomCabral/ SantoLima Data: 13-11-2010 Ass: Fliporto 2010 em Olinda - PE. Na foto Camille Paglia.

The ‘dissident feminist’ on the intersection between feminism and debate.

Camile Paglia writes: History moves in cycles. The plague of political correctness and assaults on free speech that erupted in the 1980s and were beaten back in the 1990s have returned with a vengeance. In the United States, the universities as well as the mainstream media are currently patrolled by well-meaning but ruthless thought police, as dogmatic in their views as agents of the Spanish Inquisition. We are plunged once again into an ethical chaos where intolerance masquerades as tolerance and where individual liberty is crushed by the tyranny of the group.

[Order Paglia’s book “Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism” from]

The premier principles of my new book, Free Women, Free Men, are free thought and free speech—open, mobile, and unconstrained by either liberal or conservative ideology. The liberal versus conservative dichotomy, dating from the split between Left and Right following the French Revolution, is hopelessly outmoded for our far more complex era of expansive technology and global politics. A bitter polarization of liberal and conservative has become so extreme and strident in both the Americas and Europe that it sometimes resembles mental illness, severed from the common sense realities of everyday life.

[Read the full excerpt here, at]

My dissident brand of feminism is grounded in my own childhood experience as a fractious rebel against the suffocating conformism of the 1950s, when Americans, exhausted by two decades of economic instability and war, reverted to a Victorian cult of domesticity that limited young girls’ aspirations and confined them (in my jaundiced view) to a simpering, saccharine femininity.  Read the rest of this entry »

March is Women’s History Month. Here Are 10 Quotes by Women Liberals Tried to Silence


“If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.”

– Margaret Thatcher

“Do you think you would ever have heard of Christianity if the Apostles had gone out and said, ‘I believe in consensus?’”

– Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister

“We want a society where people are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. This is what we mean by a moral society; not a society where the state is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the state.”

– Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister

“Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite characteristic of them.”

– Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister

“The feminist movement is not about success for women. It is about treating women as victims and about telling women that you can’t succeed because society is unfair to you, and I think that’s a very unfortunate idea to put in the minds of young women because I believe women can do whatever they want.”

– Phyllis Schlafly

“The United States is the world’s most stunning example of a nation that has peaceably and successfully assimilated people from many disparate cultures. So why are some people trying to separate us into factions, emphasizing what divides us instead of what unites us?”

– Phyllis Schlafly

“We certainly don’t need a committee of foreigners who call themselves “experts” to dictate our laws or customs. But that’s what this treaty and most other U.N. treaties try to do.”

– Phyllis Schlafly

“Environmental policies are driven by a kind of emotional spiritualism that threatens the very foundation of our society. There is increasing evidence of a government-sponsored religion in America. This religion, a cloudy mixture of new-age mysticism, Native American folklore, and primitive Earth worship, is being promoted and enforced by the Clinton administration in violation of our rights and freedoms.”

– Helen Chenoweth, U.S. Congressman (don’t call her “Congresswoman”) Read the rest of this entry »

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: Handgun Ownership Rising Most Quickly Among Women


The almost amusing part of the report, however, was the seeming shock registered by the people at Harvard involved in the study.

Jazz Shaw writes: We hear repeated stories of how gun ownership is on the rise, but who are the people buying the guns? (We’re talking about legal purchases here obviously. The motives and opportunities for criminals are another issue.) It’s a complicated question because there is no “generic” lawful gun owner in the United States.

[Read the full story here, at Hot Air]

But Time Magazine is looking at one particular segment of American gun owners this week and it’s women who purchase a single firearm… specifically handguns. And the most common reason given is self-defense.

According to a new survey by public health officials at Harvard and Northeastern universities, women are more likely than men to report owning a gun for protection. The research, conducted in 2015 but previously unpublished, was recently obtained by The Guardian and The Trace.


The data shows that, compared to men, American women are more likely to own a single handgun (as opposed to multiple guns). And as fewer men purchase guns, the proportional presence of female gun-owners is on the rise. Forty-three percent of individuals who own just a handgun are women, with almost a quarter of those women living in urban areas. The Guardian noted that female gun-owners were more likely to live in urban areas than their male counterparts, and called the data “the most definitive survey of US gun ownership in two decades.”


A couple of decades ago this might have been seen as a shocking trend, but in 2016 it seems rather obvious. Men have been buying guns in larger numbers for a long time, but shifts in the social paradigm have made it far more common for women to catch up in this area. Read the rest of this entry »

Women in Europe: Shotguns Have ‘Virtually Sold Out’ in Austria Amid Migrant Fears 

In a country of 8.5 million people, there are now an estimated 900,000 firearms in homes, with gun dealers report that it is women driving the sales rush….(read more)

Source: Daily Mail Online

[PHOTO] Modern Brainwashing Machine

Eine neuartige Erfindung zum Trocknen der Haare. Vorf¸hrung auf der j‰hrlichen Messe in White City. Photographie. England. Um 1930. An ingenius method of drying the hair. Practical demonstrations, presented at the annual White City Fair. Photograph. England. Around 1930.

Okay, not brainwashing, exactly. ‘Drying of the hair’.

Eine neuartige Erfindung zum Trocknen der Haare. Vorf¸hrung auf der j‰hrlichen Messe in White City. Photographie. England. Um 1930. An ingenius method of drying the hair. Practical demonstrations, presented  at the annual White City Fair. Photograph. England. Around 1930. 

Camille Paglia: What a Woman President Should Be Like

Foto: TomCabral/ SantoLima Data: 13-11-2010 Ass: Fliporto 2010 em Olinda - PE. Na foto Camille Paglia.

“Most of the American electorate has probably been ready for a woman president for some time. But that woman must have the right array of qualities and ideally have risen to prominence through her own talents and not (like Hillary Clinton or Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner) through her marriage to a powerful man.”

Camille Paglia writes: Why has the U.S., the cradle of modern democracy, never had a woman president?

Incredulous young feminists, watching female heads of state multiply from Brazil and Norway to Namibia and Bangladesh, denounce this glaring omission as blatant sexism. But there are systemic factors, arising from the Constitution, popular tradition, and our electoral process, that have inhibited American women from attaining the highest office in the land.

The U.S. president is not just chief executive but commander-in-chief of the armed forces, an anomaly that requires manifest personal authority, particularly during periods of global instability. Women politicians, paglia-faceroutinely focused on social welfare needs, must demonstrate greater involvement with international and military affairs.

“The protracted and ruthlessly gladiatorial U.S. electoral process drives talented women politicians away from the fray. What has kept women from winning the White House is not simple sexism but their own reluctance to subject themselves to the harsh scrutiny and ritual abuse of the presidential sweepstakes.”

Second, the president has a ceremonial function, like that of the British royal family, in symbolically representing the history and prestige of the nation. Hence voters subliminally look for gravitas, an ancient term describing the laconic dignity of Roman senators. The president must project steadiness, sober reserve, and deliberative judgment. Many women, who tend to talk faster and smile more than men, have trouble with gravitas as performance art.paglia-book

[Order Paglia’s book  “Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars” from Amazon]

Third, the complex, coast-to-coast primary system in the U.S. forces presidential candidates into well over a year of brutal competition for funding and grass-roots support. Their lives are usurped by family-disrupting travel, stroking of rich donors, and tutelage by professional consultants and p.r. flacks. This exhausting, venal marathon requires enormous physical stamina and perhaps ethical desensitization to survive it.

[Read the full text here, at TIME]

In contrast, many heads of state elsewhere ascend through their internal party structure. They are automatically elevated to prime minister when their party wins a national election. This parliamentary system of government has been far more favorable for the steady rise of women to the top. Read the rest of this entry »

Who’s the Driving Force in Nation’s Shift from Gun Control to Gun Rights? Women


Women Are Buying More Guns Than Ever

AWR Hawkins writes: Women have emerged as one of the fastest-growing demographics of new gun buyers and concealed carry permit holders in the country, and in the process, they have become a driving force in the shift in American attitudes from pro-gun control to pro-gun rights.women-with-guns-ryanlatta-flickr

“This growing participation of women in firearm purchases and firearm-related activities has not happened overnight. Rather, it has been steadily increasing over a number of years.”

In January, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that “women [are] buying more guns than ever.” And the result of this surge in women gun buyers has been an expansion of firearms and firearms accessories made to cater to the female market. Many of the accessories are often designed and marketed by fellow women gun owners.


“The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that this is not only providing new markets for the gun industry and expanding the number of concealed carry permits issued to women, but also impacting Americans’ views on guns and gun rights.”

This growing participation of women in firearm purchases and firearm-related activities has not happened overnight. Rather, it has been steadily increasing over a number of years. For example, the National Shooting Sports Foundation found that 2011 and 2012 showed the surge beginning with a “79 percent … increase in female” customers buying firearms and/or firearm accessories. The trend has continued from that point. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Be That Girl


[PHOTOS] The Beauty of a Good Cigar

woman-cigar women-cigars


[VIDEO] ‘I Can Feel It Burning My Stomach’: Women Drink Whiskey For The First Time

[VIDEO] The Universal Hot-Crazy Matrix: A Man’s Guide to Women

The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry meets Popular Mechanics. Potentially offensive to unprepared viewers, but good-natured, sharp, silly, revealing, brilliant, based on solid science and in-depth research. Bonus: watch it all the way through. Also includes a brief Women’s Guid to Men, but it’s very brief, ’cause the research is less developed. Hysterically funny. Drop whatever you’re doing, and watch this.

Thanks to our Hong Kong Bureau Chief for the link.


Badass Fashion Accessory of the Day: ‘Warrior Pack’ Rugged Conceal Carry for Women





The Warrior Pack purse line. There are 8 different ways you can wear the purse (handbag, purse, thigh holster, shoulder holster, messenger bag, backpack, fanny pack, and protected purse). Simply adjust the straps to change the look. The safest purse ever created and even more safe with a Glock 23 in the middle compartment! A high quality leather bag that is fun and gets noticed. See more at and visit Facebook at for giveaways and promotional offers. This bag is badass!

Warrior Creek Inc

Reality Check: The ‘War on Women’ Failed in 2012


And there’s no reason to believe it will work in 2014. The exit polls tell the real story.

For the Wall Street JournalMichael Medved writes:  President Obama is suddenly upset about the alleged wage gap between men and women, but he’s not responding to a national economic crisis. Instead, he is attempting to revive the “war on women” theme that, according to Washington wisdom, helped carry Democrats to victory in 2012 and might do again in 2014. If this narrative were true, the White House could spend the year demonizing Republicans as women-hating creeps, driving women to the polls in November and helping the party hold the Senate.


But the conventional analysis isn’t accurate. National exit polls from 2012 show scant success for the war-on-women ploy, and there’s no reason to think trotting it out again will help Democrats in the midterms.

True enough, Mr. Obama won the overall female vote by 11 points in 2012—55% to 44%—but that’s hardly remarkable for a Democratic presidential candidate. Al Gore fared the same in 2000, prevailing among women by an identical 11-point advantage. Mr. Obama did better with women in 2008, beating John McCain by 56% to 43%. He enjoyed that advantage even though his first campaign never emphasized “women’s issues” and despite the presence of a woman— Sarah Palin—on the Republican ticket.

A closer look at the numbers reveals that Mr. Obama’s success with the ladies actually stemmed from his well-known appeal to minority voters. In 2012, 72% of all women voters identified themselves as “white.”

[Order Michael Medved‘s book The 5 Big Lies About American Business: Combating Smears Against the Free-Market Economy from Amazon]

This subset preferred Mitt Romney by a crushing 14-point advantage, 56% to 42%. Though Democrats ratcheted up the women’s rhetoric in the run-up to Election Day, the party did poorly among the white women it sought to influence: The Republican advantage in this crucial segment of the electorate doubled to 14 points in 2012 from seven points in 2008. In the race against Mr. Romney, Obama carried the overall female vote—and with it the election—based solely on his success with the 28% of women voters who identified as nonwhite. He carried 76% of Latina women and a startling 96% of black women.

"Equal Pay Day" Protesters Demand Equal Pay For Women

The same discrepancy exists when considering marital status. In 2012, nearly 60% of female voters were married, and they preferred Mr. Romney by six points, 53% to 46%. Black and Latina women, on the other hand, are disproportionately represented among unmarried female voters, and they favored Mr. Obama by more than 2-to-1, 67% to 31%.


Read the rest of this entry »

[VIDEO] Phenomenal Women: Jazzwomen Makin’ Waves and Breakin’ Free

One of my favorite simmerin’-sauce jazz bloggers, Jazzybeatchick, has an item you’ll want to see more of…

Jazzybeatchick writes:

I wanted to feature the Phenomenal Women who have influenced and were inspirational in my life particularly in the 1960’s when civil rights was not solely relegated to race.  Mom was my role model.  my B1FF and beside the fact that she was the best mom; it’s because she was an educator who believed and promoted multiethnic culturalism including women  to assimilate into American cultural life.  That meant not to segregate but the inclusion where we all would learn about diversity and to respect and appreciate one another.  My father, forced to deal racism in the jazz world, chose not make waves however it was whole different talk show when it came to allowing women to participate in performances because that would’ve make the situation worse on both fronts.  Neither agenda survived!

Read the rest of this entry »

Eyeballs-a-Popping: Flamboyantly Furious Feminists in Fabulous Faux Freakout

Is the term 'bewitched" or "bewitching" an insult? Maybe it just means "magical".

Maybe it just means “magical”

The frivolous-feminist humor police are out again, wagging fingers, popping eyeballs, and heaping scorn on cultural expressions they find alarming.

Today they’re particularly milfed by Japan’s beauty contests honoring women over 30.  It must be upsetting to discover that the Japanese don’t conform to the correct standards of propriety that righteous monocultural western feminists are trained to focus their flippant fury on. Their disapproval is a badge of honor! And their critique is colorful. Hint: it involves biscuits, and how they’re taken.

We’re aware that we live in a world of seriously offensive and sexist things, but the National Beautiful Witches Contest for the over-35s simply has to take the biscuit.

The contest, which took place in Tokyo last week, featured a category for women“over 35 that possess an almost magical beauty untouched by age”.

Housewife Mayumi Nishimura, 39, won the prize, for her “cheerful disposition” reported Rocket News 24

Harmless beauty contest honoring mature women? Or target for feminist scorn?

Bewitching Beauty: harmless beauty contest honoring mature women? Or target for feminist scorn?

That really takes the cake, doesn’t it? The biscuit, I mean.

Fear not, it’s all in good fun. Their complaint is peppered with harmless insults, and is preceded by a hilariously over-the-top headline, revealing that they aren’t as serious as they pretend to be.

Great News: Iran Legalizes Pedophilia and Allows Men to Marry Their Adopted Daughters

Young girls in Chah Bahar, Iran. Iran’s body of clerics and jurists has not yet vetted the new legislation on child marriage. Photograph: Jamshid Bairami/EPA

Young girls in Chah Bahar, Iran. Iran’s body of clerics and jurists has not yet vetted the new legislation on child marriage. Photograph: Jamshid Bairami/EPA

Human rights activists say approved bill, making girls vulnerable to the ruling from age 13, ‘legalizes paedophilia’

 reports: Parliamentarians in Iran have passed a bill to protect the rights of children which includes a clause that allows a man to marry his adopted daughter and while she is as young as 13 years.

Activists have expressed alarm that the bill, approved by parliament on Sunday, opens the door for the caretaker of a family to marry his or her adopted child if a court rules it is in the interests of the individual child.

Iran’s Guardian Council, a body of clerics and jurists which vets all parliamentary bills before the constitution and the Islamic law, has yet to issue its verdict on the controversial legislation.

To the dismay of rights campaigners, girls in the Islamic republic can marry as young as 13 provided they have the permission of their father. Boys can marry after the age of 15. Read the rest of this entry »