Science of Love, Sex, and Babies

POLL (women only): Are you sexier mid-cycle?

Posted in news, Polls and Surveys by jenapincott on October 13, 2008

One radio host said “ewwww” when I mentioned on her show that a woman’s menstrual cycle has a significant (yet largely subconscious) impact on her appearance and taste in men, but I’m going to press on because I think it’s fascinating. And how lovely it is that findings that I discuss in BLONDES have been supported by a spate of recent, related studies:

1. German researchers added to the pile of evidence that suggests that women dress more provocatively and look prettier around ovulation. When male judges were shown pictures that women took of themselves every day of the month, the guys gave women in the fertile phase of their menstrual cycles the highest attractiveness ratings. The women also considered themselves more attractive at this time of the month.
2. Meanwhile, at the University of Albany, researchers recorded women’s voices at four different times during their respective cycles and played the recordings to male and female judges. Results show that a woman’s voice is significantly higher-pitched and considered more attractive mid-cycle, when she’s most likely to conceive.
3. Women taking oral contraceptives have weaker preferences for masculine faces and voices than do women who aren’t on the Pill, according to a study at McMaster University. The Pill simulates the hormonal profile of pregnancy, and women tend to prefer more nurturing and familiar-looking faces at this time.

3 Responses

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  1. […] of high-testosterone, which evolutionary biologists associate with health and good genes. (Men have their preferences, too.) Once pregnant, however, women’s deep-voice bias may subconsciously shift. According to […]

  2. […] choice. If your partner knows when you’re fertile, he knows when to guard you. (Of course, we inadvertently advertise our fertility anyway, albeit subtly.) And if he know when you’re not fertile, he might lose interest (and seek […]

  3. […] choice. If your partner knows when you’re fertile, he knows when to guard you. (Of course, we inadvertently advertise our fertility anyway, albeit subtly.) And if he knows when you’re not fertile, he might lose interest (and seek […]


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