They are genetically programmed to SPEND! – In a recession, we all have less to spend. But are men genetically programmed to keep on spending money anyway?

Bling, foreclosures, rising credit card debt, bank and auto bailouts, upside down mortgages and perhaps a mid-life crisis new Corvette are all symptoms of compulsive overspending, and despite the female “Sex and the City” reputation for drowning their sorrows in shopping, the truth is that men indulge in this more than women do. Researcher Daniel Kruger looks to evolution and mating for an explanation.

Kruger theorizes that men overspend to attract mates. It all boils down, as it has for hundreds of thousands of years, to making babies. He tested his hypothesis in a community sample of adults aged 18-45 and found that the degree of financial consumption was directly related to future mating intentions and past mating success for men (but NOT for women).

Financial consumption was the only factor that predicted how many partners men wanted in the next five years and also predicted the number of partners they had in the previous five years, Being married made a difference in the frequency of one-time sexual partners in the last year, but not in the number of partners in the past or desired in the future.

If you plan on having lots of kids, it helps to have smart sperm, and new research suggests that smarter men also have better quality sperm. When psychiatrists analyzed data from I.Q. tests given to soldiers during the Vietnam War, they found that those who with the highest scores also had more?and more mobile?sperm (this doesn?t mean that the kids they produced are smarter, even though intelligence is?to some extent, at least?genetic, although environment is important too).

This could be because, inside the womb, the brains develop about the same time as the testicles (some women would say that male brains are INSIDE their testicles!) BBC News quotes fertility expert Allan Pacey as saying, “The fact that it’s possible to detect a statistical relationship between intelligence and semen quality in adult men probably says more about the co-development of brain and testicles when the man was in his mother’s womb, and therefore how well they both function in adult life, rather than suggesting that playing Sudoku can somehow stimulate more sperm to be produced.”

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