Despite the fact their bodies may be in decline, women are more likely to have sexual fantasies and affairs as they approach 40.
Beginning in their late thirties, women face the unique adaptive problem of declining fertility eventually ending in menopause. For the current study, the researchers hypothesised that women have evolved a reproduction strategy designed to capitalise on their remaining fertility. To test this hypothesis, researchers from USA surveyed 827 women and divided them into three groups: those at their most fertile (aged 19 to 26 years), those whose fertility was declining (aged 27 to 45 years) and those who were approaching or had reached menopause.
Those in the middle group with declining fertility were found to be significantly more sexually driven, engaging in sex and having sexual fantasies more often than their older and younger counterparts and being more likely to have flings.
The above findings indicate women with declining fertility have greater sexual motivations and increased sexual behaviour than other women with relatively high fertility. These findings lend further support to the influence of the biological clock on women's mating psychology to facilitate conception before the window of opportunity closes.