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Trends Ecol Evol. 2010 Mar;25(3):171-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.08.003. Epub 2009 Oct 7.

Does the contraceptive pill alter mate choice in humans?

Author information

1
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK.

Abstract

Female and male mate choice preferences in humans both vary according to the menstrual cycle. Women prefer more masculine, symmetrical and genetically unrelated men during ovulation compared with other phases of their cycle, and recent evidence suggests that men prefer ovulating women to others. Such monthly shifts in mate preference have been suggested to bring evolutionary benefits in terms of reproductive success. New evidence is now emerging that taking the oral contraceptive pill might significantly alter both female and male mate choice by removing the mid-cycle change in preferences. Here, we review support for such conclusions and speculate on the consequences of pill-induced choice of otherwise less-preferred partners for relationship satisfaction, durability and, ultimately, reproductive outcomes.

PMID:
19818527
DOI:
10.1016/j.tree.2009.08.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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