Men compete if there are fewer women

Men become increasingly competitive when there are fewer women around, new research has found. Investigators from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management found males are also more impulsive when they perceive females to be scarce.

Vladas Griskevicius, an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the School explained that men tend to compete for access to mates, with money, status and products often used to get ahead.

According to Mr Griskevicius, this trend is the same across all cultures.

He explained some human actions are more reflexive and subconscious than might be presumed, adding: "We see that there are more men than women in our environment and it automatically changes our desires, our behaviours and our entire psychology."

The findings of the study - entitled The Financial Consequences of Too Many Men: Sex Ratio Effects on Savings, Borrowing and Spending - are to be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Professor Alexander Gardner, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "Mate competition runs though most of the species on earth. I see the same kind of behaviour with the blackbirds in my back garden, but they don't get the cheque books out.

"However, it doesn't seem to say much for the females if the principle attraction in men is ostentatious wealth."