Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Women prefer masculine men, but only during ovulation, according to a new study

See also

In an article on CBS News on Friday, a new study shows that heterosexual women might prefer masculine men -- but only when they are ovulating.

The study, which will be published in Psychological Bulletin on Feb. 24, revealed that women are most attracted to masculine men during this time frame, but they don’t really see them as long-term partners.

"Women sometimes get a bad rap for being fickle, but the changes they experience are not arbitrary," senior author Martie Haselton, a UCLA professor of psychology and communication studies, said in a press release. "Women experience intricately patterned preference shifts even though they might not serve any function in the present."

Whether women's mate preferences shift at high fertility has been a source of debate since the late 1990s, when the first scholarly studies to hint at such a change appeared. Since then, several papers have failed to replicate the early studies' results, casting doubt on the hypothesis.

Haselton and Kelly Gildersleeve, a UCLA doctoral candidate in psychology and the study's lead author, spent three years attempting to resolve the controversy. They solicited raw data from dozens of scholars who have conducted research on the topic and then translated the data from 50 studies into the same mathematical format so that the findings could be statistically analyzed together.

Some research the scientists used showed that women who sniffed shirts worn by men who had different body and facial symmetry preferred more symmetrical men when they were ovulating during their menstrual cycle. Facial symmetry has long been associated with attractiveness in research.

Deeper voices, which may reflect more testosterone and masculinity, have also been shown to be more attractive for women.

Before the development of modern medicine, sanitation and nutrition, child and infant mortality rates were extremely high. The researchers hypothesize that the mate preference shift may demonstrate an "evolutionary adaptation."

In other words, female ancestors were attracted to "stronger" men because this may have ensured the strength and survival of offspring.

Like what you’ve read? Subscribe to receive (spam free) email notifications for top news articles.

Emily Sutherlin is also the Pregnancy Examiner.

Got something to say? Say it on Examiner by following this link to sign up.

©2014 Emily M. Sutherlin. All Rights Reserved.

Advertisement

News

  • Baseball Hall of Fame
    The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown welcomes six new inductees
    Video
    Video
  • 2012 do-over
    If we were to re-do the 2012 election, a new poll suggests Romney would win
    Politics
  • Boko Haram
    Boko Haram kidnaps the wife of the vice prime minister of Cameroon
    World News
  • Ceasefire breaks
    Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu claims Hamas broke another brief ceasefire
    Gaza
  • Close call with CME
    Scientists tell how Earth survived a giant solar flare back in 2012
    Space
  • Comic-Con
    What's going on at Comic-Con? Get all the latest updates here
    Comic-Con

Related Videos:

  • America's Iron Throne
    <iframe width="600" height="450" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IsTuKluGaZ4?rel=0?rel=0&amp;VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • "Woman in Black" seen wondering the highways of middle America
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/gdN1Cx5tA4k?VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Abigail Hernandez: Arrest made in teen's 9-month abduction, but still no answers
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518345048" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518345048&autoStart=true"></div>