Oral Sex Keeps Women from Cheating, Study Shows

Categories: Morning Buzz

Tommy T
Evolutionary psychology is a can of worms to begin with. If you want to find a particularly violent online argument, search out two people -- one of whom believes mental and behavioral differences between men and women are entirely a social construct, and the other of whom thinks it's possible that men exhibit more big-picture thinking (yet have no idea what color the bedspread is) because those who could accurately scan the horizon for game survived to pass down that gene along with women who observe small details like whether a mushroom is poisonous or whether a baby is sick and develop communication skills to share that information.

That's just an example. But last month, the folks at The Journal of Evolutionary Psychology determined that, although the female orgasm doesn't get a woman to lie there and happily retain sperm at the optimum moment (just one of the fascinating speculations we recall from Desmond Morris' 1967 The Naked Ape, along with a theory that large human breasts and pigmented lip tissue mimic the back side of a lady, thereby encouraging face-to-face sex and less promiscuity), men whose relationships are threatened by "sperm competition" (a.k.a. Sancho) perform more cunnilingus. Oh, and they do it right. Well. Successfully. Whatever.

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The authors (Todd K. Shackelford, Michael N. Pham, Yael Sela, and Lisa L. M. Welling) did acknowledge the limitations of the research (although, oddly, not their criteria for whether a man is at greater risk of competition-induced cuckoldry, which include an attractive partner and/or absence from her) and that alternative hypotheses might explain why heterosexual couples engage in this pointless behavior.

They were really shooting for (so to speak) evidence to support the sperm-retention-during-orgasm thing, so it's not as though the scientists really had no idea why not-directly-procreative sexytime is fun; they were just wondering about something else and are probably a little bummed that they were wrong.

Also probably spending too much time at the lab, they or their significant others may be telling themselves right about now. Though the two male and two female researchers all work together at the same Michigan university, so who knows, really?

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Brett Giles
Brett Giles

Well it's The New Times, not The Wall Street Journal.

Harold Johnson
Harold Johnson

All you stated is that men who are more afraid of competition from other men go down on their women more. There was nothing shown that more oral sex prevents cheating. There wasn't anything stated as to how many men and women were in the study or how they arrived at their conclusion. That was a really poor article.


@Harold Johnson  Thank you for a careful read. I agree with your interpretation of the study results. But what if our headline is true? A guy can't be too careful, right? ;)

We did link to the study itself for those who want to read it, though, as @DonkeyHotay  mentioned, it has its own flaws. Though it included only men's reports of what they perceived, did, and concluded, people engage in behavior all the time based merely on what they think is happening, and that is worthy of examination on its own.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Harold Johnson ... and a rather pathetic, uncontrolled "study".

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