What drives women to cheat is a subject that has been long debated over the years. And now scientists are suggesting women have been programmed by evolution to pursue affairs in case they decide to leave their partners.That's certainly a novel excuse. "This isn't what it looks like! I'm only trying to prepare for your inevitable death!"
New research claims this 'mate switching hypothesis' particularly applies to childless women whose loved one can affect their ability to raise offspring. The theory that affairs are women's natural back-up plan challenges the accepted notion that humans are intended to be monogamous. It suggests humans have evolved to constantly be on the lookout for better long-term partners that their current ones.
David Buss, Cari Goetz and their team told the Sunday Times: 'Lifelong monogamy does not characterise the primary mating pattern of humans. 'Breaking up with one partner and re-mating with another - mate switching - may more accurately characterise the common, perhaps the primary, mating strategy of humans. For our ancestors, disease, poor diet and poor medical care meant few lived past 30 - meaning experimenting to find the most suitable partner may have been key to survival.
Scientists claim people would pick partners with the highest chance of survival, but have someone in reserve in case that person died.
Of course, the reduced attractivness that is concomitant with the aging process tends to get in the way of this partner-replacement theory.