Male Friendship & Stealing Friend's Wife


The scientists from the University of Missouri (USA) decided to find out why men are less likely to take women away from other families – unlike women, who separate men from their families. Testosterone levels, the primary male sex hormone, happen to drop dramatically when men communicate with the wives of their closest friends. However, such a phenomenon is observed only in men, who are past their adolescence period.


Men See Women As Sexual Objects

As a rule, a healthy adult male takes most women, not related to him by blood, as potential sexual partners. In order not to get lost in such a variety, the instincts tell him to choose the woman that will give birth to healthy babies: hence, the fashion for wide hips (easy to give birth), large breasts (an ability to lactate well), and blush on the cheeks (a sign of health and youth).

Why Men Don’t Want Their Friend’s Wives

At the same time, a friend is a sacrosanct notion for many men. Friendship helped people build communities, tribes, and entire states. The man, who attempted to get his friend’s wife, has always been considered a traitor. In its turn, betrayal gave rise to civil strife, resulting in society’s becoming vulnerable and unstable. Very often it completely ceased to exist in such cases. The authors of the current study believe that the instinct of aversion to friends’ wives was caused by the need to halt the rivalry between men. If healthy and numerous children were the only purpose for each of us, people could fail to evolve.

Friend’s Wife Is a Taboo for Men

Professor of Anthropology at the University of Missouri and the study’s lead author, Mark Flynn says that despite the fact that men have a chance to win the heart of their friend’s wife, they do not use it. It is extremely rare that a man commits such an act, and these cases are just the exception that proves the rule.

The authors of the study, whose details were published in the Human Nature journal, say that if we properly understand such behavior of the people in society, it will be possible to solve many problems of our time, such as armed conflicts and even climate changes. However, the scientists have not told exactly how to do it.