A study by the Liverpool University suggests that men are more aware of potential rivals for love when their partners are at their most fertile. The researchers felt that men become more jealous and wary of dominant males when their wives or girlfriends are at their most fertile.
The Evolution and Human Behaviour study by the Liverpool University on 64 men suggested those with ovulating partners were vary wary of the dominant looking men who attract women around this time. As compared to those whose partners were not at risk of conception who were less aware, the study suggested. Earlier research shows ovulating women are more attracted to dominant men.
The study seems to support findings that show that women may be more likely to have both affairs and be more attracted to alpha males during the fertile period of their menstrual cycle. They feel that this could be so due to the masculine features are linked to high testosterone levels.
Rob Burriss, a postgraduate student at Liverpool University's school of biological sciences and the lead author of the study explains that like in groups of animals, such as chimpanzees, where they can live quite happily together till such time when a female is ready to mate, the two dominant males within the group become rivals and fight for her attention. This he states is true in humans too, and the dominance increases when the female is most fertile.
His study supports the idea that women would naturally prefer to reproduce with dominant looking males as they get closer to becoming fertile, because they would have higher levels of testosterone, pointing to better genes to pass on. Dr Burriss's work shows men have developed compensatory tactics when their partners are most fertile.
In the experiment, scientists asked 64 volunteers to rate the perceived dominance of a series of men with neutral expressions. The images they were shown were photographs that had been rated on a seven-point scale ranging from "not at all dominant" to "very dominant". It was found that men whose partners were near ovulation tended to rate the faces as more dominant than men whose partners were at a less fertile stage.