Out of Sight, On His Mind

Deals with a survey conducted by Todd Shackelford, an assistant professor of psychology at Florida Atlantic University regarding men's separation anxiety from their partners. Relation between the length of time men are away from their partners with men's desire to have sex with them; Reasons behind the behavior.

By Jessica Rogers, published January 1, 2000 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

EVOLUTION

Women may be stereotyped as the clingy ones in a relationship, but it's men who truly have separation anxiety.

The longer men are away from their partners, the more attractive they find them and the more they want to have sex with them, says Todd Shackelford, Ph.D. Women are not similarly affected by time away from their lovers, his surveys show.

Men aren't necessarily more sensitive, says Shackelford, assistant professor of psychology at Florida Atlantic University. He thinks they're just acting on an ancient survival instinct--the fear that another man might get to their partner, fertilize her egg and pass on his genes first. Prior studies confirm the theory, showing that the longer a man goes without sex, the more sperm he ejaculates when he next has intercourse--nature's way of making up for lost time.