around them and behave anyhow when they are alone or with friends, a
study has revealed why this is so.
The study shows that men put in their best behaviour when attractive or
beautiful ladies are close by, and that the number of kind acts showed by
men relates with how attractive a female is.
The study, carried out by Dr. Wendy Iredale of Sheffield Hallam University
and Mark Van Vugt of the VU University in Amsterdam and the University of
Oxford, further shows that the extent of kind and selfless acts by men
corresponds with the attractiveness of women who are around.
The study, published in the British Journal of Psychology, also found out that
the behaviour of women remains the same, regardless of who was around.
In the first part of the research, 65 men and 65 women, with an average age
of 21, anonymously played a cooperation game where they could donate
money to a group fund via a computer programme. The donations were
The two groups comprising 65 persons each were placed under observation
by two physically attractive observers, who were either of the same sex or
opposite sex. Men were found to do more significant good deeds when
observed by the opposite sex than when observed by men, while the number
of good deeds made by women did not change, regardless of who
For the second experiment, groups of males were formed and were asked
to make a number of public donations. Their donation increased when
observed by an attractive female, where they were found to actively
compete with one another. However, when observed by a male, donations
did not increase.
Iredale said, “The research shows that good deeds among men increase
when presented with an opportunity to be joined together. Theoretically, this
suggests that a good deed is the human equivalent of the peacock’s tail.
Practically, this research shows how societies can encourage selfless acts.”
In an interaction with our correspondent, a 31-year-old civil servant,
Olanrewaju Felix, described the study as a true reflection of his personal
experience. “From my personal experience, the study is true because I have
observed that when female friends, colleagues or even visitors are around, I
tend to behave well and be less dramatic. It is more so when the lady is
within the age range of someone I can befriend.
“I can’t really explain it but that is just the truth, and I think it is common
among men. In fact, my friends tell me that my voice changes on the phone
when I am talking to a lady, but I have settled it in my mind that I can’t change
it because I believe it is my nature.”
It seems like a common testimony among men in their late teens upwards to
behave in a more refined manner and do certain positive things they may
naturally not do if there were no women around, especially the sexy and
Seun Ibigbami, a student in his mid 20s, told our correspondent that the best
time for him to ask for money from his brother is when he had female
friends or colleagues around him.
“I have learnt that if I need to get anything from my brother, I need to ask
him when there is at least a female around him. It works faster because I
think he seeks to impress the women, whereas, if he is with a man, nothing
“In fact, he feels free to talk to me if the person is a man because he
believes it is man to man, which gives me an impression that his nice
disposition in the presence of women is actually to impress.”
However, a consultant psychologist, Prof. Makanju Ayobami, said men tend
to do that because they become more self-conscious and put on their best
behaviour or effort in order to make a good impression on the attractive or
beautiful person around.
“It is the same reason why we all want to look good when we are going out
than when we are inside.
“And that is why there are certain things we do at home that we cannot do in
the presence of visitors. This could be because of the familiarity and maybe
taking them for granted.”
Ayobami argued that it could even be more with women than men but that it
occurs in both males and females.
Another psychiatrist, Dr. Kehinde Ayenibiowo, said a man would not need to
behave in the best way he could in the presence of a woman if there is no
She added that, in spite of the need for rational beings to behave well to get
the best from every relationship or situation, it is when the man hopes to get
something from the woman, either at the moment or later in the future, that
he could seek to impress her specially.
“It depends on the motive. If you do not want to create impressions, why do
you want to behave well when a woman is around? It is because such men
have ulterior motives, especially if they are expecting something from her.
“Why don’t such men behave well in the presence of their mother, no matter
how beautiful she is? So, there must be a reason. Moreover, it also depends
on the relationship between the man and the woman. If there is no
established relationship, since we are moved by first impression, an average
person wants people to think well of him or her.
“Human beings are rational beings, especially men, who are not moved by
intuition, but by rationality, so, when they hide what is bad and only show
what is good, they want to be accepted, and for the likelihood of what they
hope to get from her now or later,” she explained.
Ayenibiowo further questioned why men who try to impress women by their
behaviour do not act likewise in the presence of their wives at home. She
said they behave well in such special occasions knowing that they cannot get
their best if they do not behave themselves.
“If a man is very rich, he doesn’t need to create impression because he
knows that he is already accepted, unless he is after a particular woman.
They are also aware that people believe women flock after rich men in this
part of the world,” she added.