- Nov 9, 2012
- Reaction score
- PA, USA
Fellow men, you will be relieved to know that your children are most likely, in fact, yours. I, for one, will be sleeping better tonight.
Reading the internet, or even perusing the scientific literature, you'd get the idea that people are constantly cheating on their spouses. Indeed, scientists have estimated that anywhere from 10-30 percent of men are unknowingly raising children who are not their own. This situation is referred to as cuckoldry, or scientifically as "extra-pair paternity." Now, however, it appears that our estimates of cuckoldry rates were way off.
A new survey published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution sums up a number of recent studies that show the actual rate of cuckolds in the general population, based on genetic testing and ancestor research, is 1-2 percent. This challenges evolutionary psychologists who have suggested that human women "routinely ‘shop around’ for good genes by engaging in extra-pair copulation to obtain genetic benefits." This idea came in part from studying socially monogamous songbirds, which mate for life but have roughly 1 in 10 babies as a result of "extra pair" matings.