Navigation Links
Psychologists find link between ovulation and women's ability to identify heterosexual men
Date:6/22/2011

TORONTO, ON A new study by psychologists at the University of Toronto and Tufts University shows that a woman can more accurately identify a man's sexual orientation when looking at his face, when she is closest to her time of peak ovulation. Further, having romantic thoughts or a mating goal heightens a woman's ability to discriminate between straight and gay men.

"This effect is not apparent when a woman is judging another female's orientation," says Professor Nicholas Rule of the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto, lead author of a new study published in Psychological Science. "This suggests that fertility influences a heterosexual woman's attention to potential mates rather than merely increasing sensitivity to sexual orientation or nonverbal cues more generally."

In the first of three experiments, 40 undergraduate women judged the sexual orientation of 80 images of men's faces. Forty of the photos were of self-identified gay males while the other 40 were of straight men. The men did not differ in emotional expression or attractiveness, and the female participants were encouraged to use their intuition in making judgments. In addition, the women reported the length of time since their last menstrual cycle and its average duration; none were using any systemic contraceptive medications.

The researchers correlated the participants' accuracy in judging sexual orientation with the point at which the women were in their fertility cycle, and found that the nearer women were to peak ovulation, the more accurate they were at judging each male's sexual orientation.

The second experiment featured 34 women who viewed a similar series of female faces, 100 of whom were self-identified lesbians while another 100 were straight. The researchers found no relationship between fertility and accurate judgments of the women's sexual orientation.

"Together, these findings suggest that women's accuracy may vary across the fertility cycle because men's sexual orientation is relevant to conception and thus of greater importance as women are nearer to ovulation."

The researchers tested this hypothesis further with a third experiment in which female participants were primed with a mating goal in order to manipulate reproductive relevance. Half of the 40 participants were asked to read a story which described a romantic encounter while the other half did not, before performing the same tasks in the two previous studies. Rule and his colleagues found that the women primed with a mating goal were significantly more accurate in their judgments than the women who were not, implying that inducing romantic or mating-related thoughts improved accuracy in identifying men's sexual orientations.

The findings are presented online in a paper titled "Mating Interest Improves Women's Accuracy in Judging Male Sexual Orientation", published in Psychological Science.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sean Bettam
s.bettam@utoronto.ca
416-946-7950
University of Toronto
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Psychologists find skill in recognizing faces peaks after age 30
2. Psychologists identify influence of social interaction on sensitivity to physical pain
3. Researchers find process of cervical ripening differs between term and preterm birth
4. Gatekeepers: Penn study discovers how microbes make it past tight spaces between cells
5. New study supports Darwins hypothesis on competition between species
6. Lifelong gap in health between rich and poor set by age 20
7. Competition between females leads to infanticide in some primates
8. VTT: No significant difference in car fuel consumption between E10 and E5 petrol grades
9. New study suggests link between chronic estrogen exposure and high blood pressure
10. Study confirms link between rheumatoid arthritis and COPD
11. UK survey shows differences between clinicians treating rheumatology in pregnancy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/3/2016)... GOTHENBURG, Sweden , February 4, 2016 ... Revenues amounted to SEK 1,351.5 M (105.0), up 1,187% compared with fourth ... Operating profit amounted to SEK 517.6 M (loss: 30.0). Earnings ... from operating activities was SEK 537.4 M (neg: 74.7). , ... , Revenues amounted to SEK 2,900.5 M (233.6), up 1,142% ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... Calif. , Feb. 3, 2016 Vigilant ... Police Department in Missouri ... license plate reader (LPR) data from Vigilant Solutions. ... hit-and-run case in which the victim was walking out of a convenience ... parking space next to his vehicle, striking his vehicle ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016  BioMEMS devices deployed ... focused on medical screening and diagnostic applications, ... Wearable devices that facilitate and assure continuous ... movement are being bolstered through new opportunities ... signal acquisition coupled with wireless connectivity and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... PatientCrossroads ... on the secure online PatientCrossroads platform, has exceeded both its one-year and overall ... the PROMPT study, which seeks to advance understanding of the hereditary risks for ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... balance, the 2016 Wharton Health Care Business Conference will bring together over 500 top ... ahead for an industry in transformation. The conference, organized by MBA students of the ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... Tunnell Consulting, ... Based in Paris, he will focus on acquiring new accounts and work closely ... , “Fred brings to our European clients more than 15 years ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... 2016 This market research report on the ... prospects of the market in terms of revenue (USD ... in the manufacture of microbiology culture media and related ... market snapshot providing the overall information of various market ... section also provides the overall information and data analysis ...
Breaking Biology Technology: