Women are 'genetically programmed to have affairs'
Women are "genetically programmed" to have affairs as a "back-up" plan in case their current relationship fails, a new study suggests.
The study claims that women have been programmed to test their relationships and look out for better, long-term options.
This "mate-switching hypothesis" is apparently rooted in evolutionary biology.
The theory particularly applies to women without children because their choice of partner can greatly affect how capable they are of eventually raising children, the researchers said.
The senior author of the research, Dr David Buss, told the Sunday Times: "Lifelong monogamy does not characterise the primary mating patterns of humans.
"Breaking up with one partner and mating with another may more accurately characterise the common, perhaps the primary, mating strategy of humans."
For our distant ancestors - few of whom lived past the age of 30 - experimenting with the most suitable partner was crucial to ensure long-term survival.
These days, women apparently go through a complex set of calculations when they're in a relationship. They compare their partner's 'mate value' with that of other men, and weigh up the "relationship load" or "the costs imposed by partners who behave badly or fail to provide," reported The Sunday Times.
Controversially researchers also claimed that affairs were beneficial to women in the strong, long-term relationships: "A regular mate may cheat, defect, die or decline in mate value. Ancestral women lacking a backup mate would have suffered a lapse in protection, and resources," they said.
However, despite in depth research on the subject, no study has shown that humans are more likely to live a monogamous or non-monogamous life.