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Turns Out, Men Aren’t Hardwired to Sleep Around After All

Despite long-held theories.
carrie and big

carrie and big

For years, men have been given a pass for being players, using evolution as a viable explanation for their behavior. The long-held theory assumes the more women a man has sex with, the more likely he is to pass on his genes—the measure of evolutionary success.

MORE: How George Clooney is Affecting the Way Men Date

Not so fast, guys. In a new study conducted at the University of Utah, anthropologists presented evidence that male promiscuity is not actually something that’s hardwired, and found that whether men prefer commitment or flings actually depends a lot on their circumstances, particularly gender ratios.

Bottom line here: When men don’t find themselves surrounded by a lot of women, they actually prefer long-term relationships. Women, meanwhile, when surrounded by a lot of men, and with a lot of dating choices, can be similarly interested in one-night stands, going against the common stereotype that women like to settle down.

MORE: Holding Out For Mr.Right? Don’t Bother

Ryan Schacht and Monique Borgerhoff Mulder of the University of California Davis conducted a similar study examining eight communities in Makushi, Amerindians of Guyana. They found that the more men outnumbered women, the less likely they were to prefer flings over commitment.

According to Schacht that makes perfect evolutionary sense too, because, according to him, commitment actually increases the number of “mating opportunities” men have compared to when they have to constantly seek out new partners.

“The best strategy is to find one woman and stick with her,” he told Reuters.

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