What to Read Next

Monogamy explained: Why non-dominant males are winning over alpha-males

Carolyn Morris
Shine On
May 29, 2012

Forget the sexual revolution of the 1960s. It seems the move to monogamy, maybe several million years ago, might have been the biggest revolution in romantic relationships.

According to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, non-dominant males, who couldn't compete directly with their alpha or beta counterparts, would woo females by providing for them and their children. The females began preferring the breadwinning male to the bigger or stronger ones, and would become faithful to him.

"Once females begin to show preference for being provisioned, the low-ranked males' investment in female provisioning over male-to-male competition pays-off," explains study author and University of Tennessee in Knoxville professor of ecology, evolutionary biology and mathematics, Sergey Gavrilets.

A real insurgency by the lower echelon of males.

Also see: Relationship Status Bracelets wear your heart on your sleeve

Through a mathematical model, Gavrilets gives his best explanation for what became modern monogamy.  A scenario where low-ranking omega males skipped macho competitions and turned to nurturing females instead.

"Gavrilets has a good reputation, particularly in providing mathematical foundations for things that many anthropologists and psychologists construct stories about," says evolutionary psychologist and University of Victoria teaching professor, Martin Smith.

Smith mentions some other surprising reasons that could explain why humans opt for committed relationships. One of them has been the evolution of humans walking on all fours to walking on only two legs. He implies this evolution made men more nurturing.

"As soon as we could stand upright, we could bring food to other people," he explains.

Who knew that having free hands would make us more faithful.

But former University of California anthropology professor, Sarah Hrdy thinks Gavrilets' theory might be overlooking some important factors. She tells TIME that cooperative child-rearing among women was an important factor in the evolution of families. The father was not the only one helping with parenting.

"I don't think human mothers in the past could count on the long-term survival and fidelity of provisioning mates any more than mothers today can," she says. "Males are responding to a wider range of factors than can be represented in such a model."

Also see: Women want more gay male romance novels

And in case you are not convinced that alpha-males should be shunned in favour of non-dominant males. Toronto-based psychologist Tami Kulbatski will tell you otherwise. She sees women who've opted for the modern alpha-male coming into her practice with depression or anxiety.

"The qualities which initially drew them to their partners are the same ones that are now causing bitter fights, diminished feelings of self-worth and emotional turmoil," she says.

"Women seeking a long-term, monogamous, and mutually-fulfilling relationship," she advises, "should forego the tyrant in favour of the team-player."

Do NOT pay your insurance until you try this.

If you drive less than 55 miles/day OR have no DUI's you can get auto insurance for as low as $29/ Month! See if you qualify.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

I HATE Annuities…and So Should You!

If you have a $500,000 portfolio, uncover the truth about annuities by reading “Annuity Insights” from Forbes columnist Ken Fisher’s firm.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Success is in Your Hands

A great career as a motorcycle technician is within reach. Click here to learn more.

Delta Reserve Credit Card

Earn Up To 40,000 Medallion Qualification Miles. Apply Now!

Attn Home Owners Who Never Miss a Payment.

Home Owners who have not missed a payment in 3 years or more need to read this. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home there is a solution.

Buying Medicare Supplement Plan F? Read This First

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

"Brightest Flashlight Ever" Selling Like Crazy

This new military grade tactical flashlight is selling out like crazy. Limited supplies left - Act Fast!

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Must Read This

United States drivers are surprised that they never knew this. If you drive less than 50 mi/day, you better read this...

Why You Should Pay Attention to Free Sample Sites

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary.

Heartburn During Pregnancy

Dealing With Pregnancy is Hard Enough. Getting Heartburn While Pregnant is a Pain. Learn What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy.