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A stupidly large percentage of men may cheat on their wives at some point, but way more often than not, they stay away from the wives of their closest friends. Now we may know why. A new scientific study has found men’s testosterone levels drop when they’re interacting with the wife of someone they consider a close friend. Conversely, testosterone levels spike when interacting with an enemy’s wife or another woman they see as a potential sexual partner.
Publishing in the journal Human Nature, scientists from the University of Missouri’s Anthropology Department speculate the testosterone dips are likely the result of an evolutionary adaptation to keep alliances together. The advantages of having more children with a close friend’s conjugal partner are typically outweighed by the advantages of having a brother in arms who a man can trust with his own wife.
Obviously, anyone who watches the Jerry Springer Show knows people do sleep with the wives of their best friends, but if this study is to be believed and a bit of common sense is used, it’s more likely these men either have more of a love-hate relationship with said “friend”, or they’ve slowly fallen in love with the woman over the years, which is different than having an affair more focused on sex.
Interestingly, the study also found testosterone levels do not elevate when men defeat their close friends, but they do rise when men defeat outsiders or enemies. That would indicate why men can quickly get over playground games with their friends but resentment may linger when they play against strangers.
Is there anything cooler than evolution? From dogs learning how to process human food to this testosterone dropping adaptation, all of Earth’s creatures are consistently getting more fine-tuned. My only regret is I won’t be able to see how collectively awesome we are five thousand years from now.