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Sex Conflicts On Myspace

Sex Conflicts On Myspace

By Steer, Birch, Impey & Hall

Forward: if you've got here and are hoping for an easy-read version of what we've found out about MySpace then try this article.  The current page is the drier, sciency bit that we've only put up to let everyone know that we did actually do all this work and haven't made it up.

Patterns of Sexual Conflict in Online Community Sites


The battle of the sexes has interested scientists for years, mainly in the hope that they’ll finally understand how to get a girlfriend themselves. One of the more interesting themes is the difference between what men and women want out of a relationship. Consider the following from an evolutionary perspective. What each of us wants is to pass on as many genes to the next generation as possible. This means having as many children as possible. However, we also want those children to be fit, healthy and virile so that our genes carry on passing down into the future. Therefore we should try and give our children as good a start in life as possible.

So, women should want their men to hang around after his child is born and help bring it up, providing food, resources and other assistance. Men, on the other hand, are less constrained. They don’t have to spend nine months nurturing their unborn offspring in their bodies; for men making a baby is a straight in and out job. However, it’s not going to be totally worth a man’s while to just flit around fathering children left, right and centre when other men are hanging around giving extra help to their children. The children of these other men will therefore be bigger and stronger. It might then be worthwhile for a man to hang around with one partner (for example a wife) and help her to raise their children. However, if he can get the chance to father a few extra children on the sly without having to look after them too much, then all well and good.

This study was designed to see whether differences in human sexual strategies are discernible from the different ways in which men and women use the social networking website MySpace. Are married men more promiscuous than married women and men in a relatio