Fickle with men? Periods aren’t to blame anymore.
Menstrual cycles take the blame for a lot of things: mood swings, bloat, and perhaps an unrelenting chocolate craving. For the past few decades, scientists have also pointed the finger at menstrual cycles to explain women’s mating preferences in men, namely in regards to wavering tastes in physical appearance and demeanor. Turns out, women have been in the driver’s seat the whole time when it comes to who they fancy, kicking menstrual cycles and evolutionary explanations to the curb.
Here’s the old idea: Fertile women prefer the burly, strong type; nonfertile women (i.e. pregnant women) prefer the kind, sensitive type. 
Here’s the new idea: Menstrual cycles and fertility hormones do not affect female mating preferences. 
The University of Southern California (USC) recently shared results from an independent exploration of more than 58 research experiments that debunk the old idea. The study examined male features including facial symmetry, body hair, jaw size, and voice pitch, as well as behaviors that exhibited power or leadership. The allure of these traits were then compared between women of varying degrees of fertility, oral contraceptive use, and relationship statuses. While previous studies attempted to prove an innate attraction between fertile women and masculine men, and nonfertile women and quieter men, the USC team found no such correlation. 
While biology may still play a small role in attraction, it’s diminished by the key determining role of culture. Modern women have conditioned themselves to their role in a group society, bypassing any biological or evolution-based inklings towards a certain build of man. To increase understanding of female mating preferences, scientists would be better off studying human behavior and social adaption in the modern world rather than early mating patterns.
This study also raises a red flag regarding the portrayal of scientific findings in the media. The USC study suggests that scientific journals may have perpetuated the old fertility and mating preferences myth by favoring the publishing of studies that backed the hypothesis. Though there exists many studies that deny the correlation, such insights were less likely to be published than those that showed support. Take this as a reminder to be cautious of all you read, and to always examine the opposing argument. 
So, if you’re attracted to a lanky bookworm one day, and a brawny football player the next, your period has very little, if any, influence on your changing “type.” On behalf of all these false claims, we should all give our menstrual cycles an apology for placing unjust blame on it. This is their one “Get out of Jail Free” card.
(And a word to the men out there: All women studied, fertile or nonfertile, preferred kind men over genetically fit men in both long and short term relationships.) 
- Posted by holx-admin
- On September 19, 2014