Null Hypothesis, the Journal of Unlikely Science

April 10, 2007 19:01 ET

Married men play the field online

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - April 11, 2007) - Tying the knot really whets a man's sexual appetite - but not for his wife. That's according to a new study carried out by scientists at the University of Bristol.

The research, published by The Journal of Unlikely Science, examined sexual behaviour in web communities and found that the average married man is likely to have 35 more online lady friends than a man describing himself as "in a relationship".

By contrast, women seem to stop shopping around when wed. According to the study, married women have 15 fewer friends of the opposite sex compared to those who say they are in relationships.

The authors suggest that these patterns mirror men's behaviour in offline relationships. "When you consider the conflicting interests of the sexes, these results really start to make sense." explained lead researcher and theoretical biologist, Dr Mark Steer, "From a man's point of view, the best way to make sure his genes get passed on might be to help one woman bring up the kids whilst sneakily sowing a few extra seeds elsewhere and hoping for the best."

The research also exposed a much higher number of men than women listing themselves as unattached. "Clearly, if the online community represents a true cross section of the population, this can't be the case." said Hayley Birch, the only female researcher on the team, "One possibility is that men are lying about their relationship statuses. Another is that women want to appear attached so that they don't get hassled by unwanted suitors."

'Pimping your MySpace' - changing the layout, colours and fonts of your profile - was not found to offer any discernible benefit in terms of attracting admirers. Those with pimped and non-pimped profiles had similar proportions of opposite sex friends.

The Null hit the headlines last month with their solution to global warming; however, they can offer no such panacea for the problem of infidelity.

Read the full article online at:
http://www.null-hypothesis.co.uk/science/strange-but-true/profs-probings/myspace_sex_married_relationship_evolution

Please quote Null Hypothesis, The Journal of Unlikely Science, in any articles.

http://www.null-hypothesis.co.uk/

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