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Changes in Male Mate Guarding Across the Cycles
Male mate guarding is a behavior that is seen in many species, including humans, where a male guards his female mate against other potential mates. This behavior is thought to be a way to ensure that the male's genes are passed on and that the female is available to him when he wants to reproduce.
What are Changes in Male Mate Guarding Across the Cycles?
Mate guarding refers to an individual's behaviors and efforts are taken to keep their spouse from participating in sexual interactions with others. According to research, female partners' mate-guarding behaviors might fluctuate during their menstrual cycles, particularly in reaction to changes in reproductive indicators. Men tend to engage in more excellent mate-guarding behaviors during the fertile window of the menstrual cycle when women are most likely to conceive. Increased monitoring of their partner's behavior, jealousy, and increased efforts to maintain closeness and intimacy are examples of these behaviors. Men may be more likely to behave aggressively against possible rivals during this time.
In 2011, a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour looked at the influence of women's menstrual cycles on male mate-guarding behaviors. The study included 38 heterosexual couples, and the researcher collected data on the women's menstrual cycle, fertility, and the mate-guarding behaviors of their male partners.
According to the study, men engaged in more mate-guarding behaviors during the fertile portion of their partner's menstrual cycle than during the non-fertile phase. It was all part of increased vigilance, jealousy, and attempts to retain closeness and intimacy. During the reproductive phase, the men also reported feeling more possessive. The study also discovered that men's mate-guarding behaviors were more evident in non-cohabiting couples, implying that males may be more motivated to protect their partner's fidelity when the possibility of infidelity is higher.
The Psychological Changes in Male Guarding During Menstrual Phases
The follicular phase is the initial phase of the menstrual cycle, which begins on the first day of menstruation and lasts about 14 days. Because estrogen levels rise and women become more fertile during this stage, men tend to engage in mate-guarding behaviors. This is an example of increased monitoring of their partner's behavior, jealousy, and increased efforts to maintain closeness and intimacy. Men may be more likely to behave aggressively against possible rivals during this time.
The menstrual cycle period during which ovulation occurs and a woman is most fertile. During this phase, estrogen levels are at their highest, and men are vigilant. Males may become overly possessive of their spouses, limiting their partners' interactions with other males. Some males may also demonstrate more domineering behaviors to establish dominance over possible competitors.
The menstrual cycle phase that comes after ovulation and lasts around 14 days. Because progesterone levels rise and estrogen levels fall during this phase, men exhibit fewer mate-guarding behaviors than during the follicular and ovulatory periods. During this time, men may be less envious and less vigilant of their partner's behavior and minimize their interaction with prospective competing mates.
Behavioral Changes in Males During Guarding
Several observable behavioral changes in males during mate guarding are mentioned here −
Enhanced Vigilance − During moments of enhanced mate guarding, men may become more cautious. They may pay more attention to their partner's behavior, primarily when interacting with other males.
Increased Jealousy − When men see a potential threat to their relationship, they may become more jealous. Anger, anxiety, and possessiveness are examples of such emotions.
Attempts to Preserve Closeness and Intimacy − To avoid adultery, men may try to maintain a close relationship with their girlfriends. Spending more time with their partner, being more physically affectionate, and engaging in more sexual activity are all examples of this.
Aggressive Behaviour − Some guys may act aggressively towards potential rivals. This might include verbal or physical aggressiveness, as well as intimidation.
Monitoring and Controlling Behaviour − To ensure that their partner is not engaged in adultery, men may closely watch their partner's behavior by monitoring their partner's phone or social media accounts.
Cultural Difference in Male Guarding
According to studies, cultural differences may alter male guarding behaviors during the menstrual cycle. Some cultures, for example, may place a higher value on sexual fidelity and have tighter rules and expectations about sexual behavior. Cultural differences can also influence men's specialized mate-guarding behaviors. Some cultures, for example, may have more traditional gender roles in which men are supposed to be primary providers and defenders and women are carers and nurturers. Men in these cultures may be more protective of their partners, such as keeping them near or limiting their partners' interactions with other men.
Some examples describe cultural differences across regions −
Latin American Cultures − Men are expected to be protective of their partners and families in many Latin American cultures. Men may exhibit more protective behaviors during the fertile period of their partner's menstrual cycle, such as escorting their partner to and from locations, checking in on their relationship more frequently, or becoming more physically affectionate.
Islamic Cultures − Sexual fidelity is highly valued in many Islamic societies, and adultery is considered a major offense. To guarantee that their partner remains loyal, men may exhibit more excellent mate-guarding behaviors throughout the fertile portion of their partner's menstrual cycle. Men may limit their partner's interactions with other guys to avoid potential infidelity or keep their lover close.
Western Cultures − Mate-guarding behaviors vary according to individual and cultural characteristics. According to a study, men from Western cultures may engage in higher mate-guarding behaviors during the fertile portion of their partner's menstrual cycle. Cultural ideals about sexual fidelity may influence this, but biological factors, such as the higher possibility of conception during this phase, could also influence it.
Ultimately, individual and cultural factors can influence male mate-guarding behaviors during the menstrual cycle. While research suggests that men from sexually fidelity-prioritizing cultures may exhibit more mate-guarding behaviors during the fertile phase of their partner's menstrual cycle, there is significant variation within cultures. Not all individuals will conform to cultural norms and expectations.
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