A scarecrow relationship called infidelity strikes terror in most lovers. What if our partner cheats on us? How to deal with such a situation? And why did it happen? In relationships where partners are dissatisfied and seek ways to escape the bond, infidelity is a frequent outcome of these difficult thoughts; but why are men cheating, even if the current partnership suits them? The so-called Coolidge effect offers an interesting answer.
Calvin Coolidge served as President of the United States from 1923 to 1929. The moderate Republican was famous for, among other things, his dour expression and dry humor, which apparently sparked the following joke: The President and First Lady have each traveled one farm each. Grace Anna Coolidge was fascinated by the rooster mating with the hens. So she asked the worker how often this happened, and she got the answer almost constantly. “Tell the president when he’s walking around” utrousila. When the president found out, he asked if the rooster mated with the same hen every time. He replied that it wasn’t that the rooster would always choose a different hen. “Tell it to Mrs. Coolidge,” he has answered.
The supposedly period joke became known in the 1970s, when it was mentioned, for example, by behavioral endocrinologist Frank Ambrose Beach, psychologist Roger N. Johnson, and other authors. The question connects the spheres of biology and psychology, because in general it is a phenomenon that makes men more interested in new partners – despite the fact that their current partner is still fertile and accessible. However, the risk of losing it makes evolutionary sense, as the potential to impregnate more females is far too tempting. This phenomenon occurring in mammals does not appear to be completely unique to humans either.
However, Beach’s original experiment was performed on rats in the mid-1950s. The male was placed in a pen with several females in heat. He started mating with them immediately and repeatedly, but after a while he was completely exhausted and no longer responded to the challenges of these females. But when a new female in heat was brought into the enclosure, the male came back to life and then mated with her.
The increase in the level of dopamine is due to the introduction of a new stimulus and the subsequent activation of the organism. Of course, such behavior also has its limits. Although sexual appetite is almost inexhaustible in rats, this does not apply to sperm production, so at some point a male will mate with a new female, but with no chance of successful conception.
This phenomenon manifests itself, for example, in bulls, which mate with a cow only once per season; then they look for another. And when we get to people, a practical example of the Coolidge effect in practice may be pornography consumption: many men prefer complacency in videos to partners available in the next room, which can be attributed to the activation of dopamine during the search for new stimuli; although virtual in nature. It may also translate to more frequent appearance changes in women (clothing style, hairstyle, makeup), as 2021 research suggests. Evolution is mighty, but human ingenuity is at its heels…
Nature has a number of equally clever mechanisms for working with the gene pool. Another example is the Bruce effect, which was described by British zoologist Hilda Bruce in the late 1950s. In many rodent species, females terminate their pregnancies prematurely (i.e. they intentionally miscarry) if they smell an unknown male. If the female evaluates that the new male would be the more advantageous evolutionary father of her offspring than the previous one, she refuses to invest in the continuation of the pregnancy and prefers to induce fertility again.
While the Coolidge effect is significantly rarer in females than in males (since the benefits of such behavior are not very apparent in this case), the Brucin effect may be an equivalent mechanism by which females control their fertility and increase the chances of survival of their offspring. This phenomenon cannot occur in humans, but it is another of many reminders of the fascinating (and at the same time cruelly effective) mechanisms by which life in nature can be preserved.
SOURCE: Wikipedia Coolidge Effect