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What do women want? It depends on the time of the month
Date:2/14/2014

d dad" traits), as well as sex appeal and a masculine personality ("sexy cad" traits), even if both sets of qualities didn't come in the same package.

"Ancestral women would have benefitted reproductively from selecting partners with characteristics indicating that they'd be good co-parents, such as being kind, as well as characteristics indicating that they possessed high genetic quality such as having masculine faces and bodies," Haselton said. "Women could have had the best of both worlds securing paternal investment from a long-term mate and high-genetic quality from affair partners but only if those affairs were timed at a point of high fertility within the cycle, and probably only if their affairs remained undiscovered."

A different hypothesis, which Haselton and Gildersleeve also find plausible, proposes that shifts in women's mate preferences across the menstrual cycle were adaptive in a now-extinct species that predated humans and are vestigial in humans that is, like the coccyx, or tail bone, that remains at the end of the human spine, they persist in modern humans despite serving no apparent function.

Either way, Haselton and Gildersleeve firmly believe in the value of shedding light on the preference shift.

"If women understand the logic behind these shifts, it might better inform their sexual decision-making so that if they notice suddenly that they're attracted to the guy in the next cubicle at work, it doesn't necessarily mean that they don't have a great long-term partner," Haselton said. "They're just experiencing a fleeting echo from the past."


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Contact: Meg Sullivan
msullivan@support.ucla.edu
310-825-1046
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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