"More attractive women are more likely to be pursued as mates by men other than their long-term partner and, therefore, to place their partner at greater risk of cuckoldry (investing unwittingly in a child to whom he is genetically unrelated)."
"Men partnered to more attractive women perform more mate retention behaviors – behaviors designed to thwart a woman’s infidelity. With greater risk of female infidelity, men may perform additional anti-cuckoldry tactics such as frequent in-pair copulations (IPC)."
This really is the answer, apparently. If you're frightened that your girl may run off with another man and leave you, there's nothing like a page (or several) from the Kamasutra to put the spice back into things. To offset the "greater risk" of her cheating on you, it is essential to give her what she needs until she's screaming for a coffee break. Whoa Nelly, who knew science papers could make such sexist and racy reading!
And, by the way, is there anything more ridiculous as abbreviating sex? IPC? Couldn't they think of something a tad more interesting that doesn't remind you of the International Pipeline Conference? But then again, I suppose we are discussing plumbing of sorts..
"We secured self-reports from 277 men in a long-term relationship and investigated: (1) the relationship between female partner’s attractiveness and IPC frequency and (2) the mediating role of female partner’s attractiveness on the relationship between IPC frequency and male mate retention behaviors."
And all this when I minimised observer effects by leaving them to answer the questions by themselves. A seemingly innocent question that asks how much your interest in sex has decreased, if it has, can be a great opportunity for a reactive answer that may not be the whole truth. So imagine how awkward and embarrassing it must have been to ask people how often they had sex with their hot partners? Ah, the wonderful reliability of self-report measures....
And if that wasn't enough, the researchers then investigated to what extent the attractiveness of a woman had on the number of times they had sex and the occurrence of mate-retention behaviours! Really! I mean, wouldn't you wanna get down to it all the time if you had a hottie for a lover? This isn't really surprising stuff, but instead has a creepy feel of voyeurism about it which reminds me of a study I read as an undergrad about how the concept of "personal space" was investigated by researching men's urine flow in public toilets. But that's a story for another day...
Now here's the result of it all:
"The results indicated that female attractiveness: (1) predicts IPC frequency and (2) partially mediates the relationship between IPC frequency and male mate retention behaviors."
But I think that, for those days when I'm in a lighter mood and full of the benevolent desire to spread mirth and joy everywhere, I can allow myself some light entertainment and blog on ridiculous papers like this one. Heck knows, I've seen enough of them as a researcher so it might be fun to poke fun at them as a blogger. I think this might be the beginning of a new series: From the Ministry of the Bleeding Obvious. Catchy eh? :-)
Oh, and one last thing:
"The discussion addresses the mediated relationship, notes limitations of the research, and highlights directions for future research."
F KAIGHOBADI, T SHACKELFORD (2008). Female attractiveness mediates the relationship between in-pair copulation frequency and men’s mate retention behaviors Personality and Individual Differences, 45 (4), 293-295 DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2008.04.013