Wars were traditionally fought by men because soldiers were ‘scared their wives would have sex with other people if they didn’t all go off to fight’
- A new study has revealed why traditionally conflicts were fought by male armies
- Historically they were scared their wives would run off if men didn’t all fight
- Once more men were fighting than women,social pressure created an incentive
The fact that prehistoric armies were made up almost exclusively of men has puzzled archaeologists for decades.
But now researchers have a theory – all-male armies formed because of a fear of sexual betrayal by their wives.
If all men did not go off to fight, those remaining behind would be able to mate with others’ partners, the study says.
A new study has revealed why traditionally conflicts were fought by male armies. File image
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Once a few more men were fighting than women, social pressure created a ‘sexual feedback loop’ that incentivised ever more to take part, researchers said.
The team at the University of St Andrews said the rarity of mixed-sex armies from prehistoric times to the present day was ‘puzzling’ because excluding women would effectively halve your fighting force.
Using a computer model, they found that once a few men had left for battle, the departure of each extra male created a greater incentive for others to take part – making them all less likely to be cuckolded.
The study appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal.
If all men did not go off to fight, those remaining behind would be able to mate with others’ partners, the study says, creating an incentive for them all to go. File image used
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