Conditional Expression of Women’s Desires and Men’s Mate Guarding across the Ovulatory Cycle

Thirty-eight normally cycling women provided daily reports of sexual interests and feelings for 35 days. Near ovulation, both pair-bonded and single women reported feeling more physically attractive and having greater interest in attending social gatherings where they might meet men. Pair-bonded women who were near ovulation reported greater extra-pair flirtation and greater mate guarding by their primary partner. As predicted, however, these effects were exhibited primarily by women who perceived their partners to be low on hypothesized good-genes indicators (low in sexual attractiveness relative to investment attractiveness). Ovulationcontingent increases in partner mate guarding were also moderated by female physical attractiveness; midcycle increases in mate guarding were experienced primarily by less attractive women, whereas more attractive women experienced relatively high levels of mate guarding throughout their cycle. These findings demonstrate ovulation-contingent shifts in desires and behaviors that are sensitive to varying fitness payoffs, and they provide support for the good genes hypothesis of human female extra-pair mating. The daily assessment method used provides an important supplement to existing studies using scheduled laboratory visits, as the purpose of the study (examining cycle-related variation) is not known by participants.

KEY WORDS: antagonistic coevolution, attractiveness, evolutionary psychology, extra-pair sex, mate guarding, ovulatory cycle, sex

Very interesting paper that was featured on one of the morning TV Shows. It's published in Hormones and Behavior by Martie Haselton and Gangestad, S. W.

I'll probably finish reading it when I have the need to excercise my brain. It's a lot harder to read than say Wicked