How to avoid the Christmas party lech: Choose sexier friendsStudy found female fish flocked with others more attractive than themselves to reduce unwanted sexual attentionStrategy said to be effective in other species
The office party season is in full swing, and with it come the romantic overtures a glut of fruit punch can inspire.
But while some women relish the prospect of a kiss under the mistletoe, for many, fending off clumsy advances from sozzled, lecherous males is an unwelcome irritation of the Christmas countdown.
Now, a new study reveals there is a foolproof way to repel randy males. All it requires is a gang of sexy friends.
Sex and the City: A study found different types of females band together to protect themselves from male attention
Researchers studying a species of freshwater fish called the Trinidadian guppy found that females uninterested in mating with males chose to spend more time with fish more attractive to themselves, thus dramatically reducing harrassment and mating attempts from notoriously lusty male guppies.
The frequentand sometimes constant harassment of female guppies from their male counterparts puts a significant burden on females, preventing them finding food and escaping from predators.
Thus unfettered by male attention, these female guppies can spend more time finding food and keeping a lookout for predators, the study revealed.
Not in the mood for mating Hang out with sexier friends to avoid unwelcome advances
The joint British and Dutch study found that female guppies are “receptive” to mating for several days each month. During this time, the fish give out a powerful sexual pheromone that attracts males.
The scientists monitored fish during both their receptive and non-receptive phases, and found that when the females were non-receptive – and therefore did not want to mate – they spent more time with receptive females who were open to sexual activity.
In doing so, they secured some peace from the relentless advances of the males.
Fishing for companions: The study of Trinidadian guppies can be applied to other species, scientists said
The University of Exeter”s Safi Darden, who led the study which was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, said: “Our results support the idea that social structure can develop around relative attractiveness and mating strategies.
“Although we focused our study on one species of fish, I would expect that this strategy would be seen in other species where females face similar levels of unwanted sexual attention from men.”