Can women detect cues to ovulation in other women's faces?

Lobmaier, Janek; Bobst, Cora; Probst, Fabian (2016). Can women detect cues to ovulation in other women's faces? Biology Letters, 12(1), p. 20150638. The Royal Society 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0638

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Recent research suggests that men find portraits of ovulatory women more attractive than photographs of the same women taken during the luteal phase. Only few studies have investigated whether the same is true for women. The ovulatory phase matters to men because women around ovulation are most likely to conceive, and might matter to women because fertile women might pose a reproductive threat. In an online study 160 women were shown face pairs, one of which was assimilated to the shape of a late follicular prototype and the other to a luteal prototype, and were asked to indicate which face they found more attractive. A further 60 women were tested in the laboratory using a similar procedure. In addition to choosing the more attractive face, these participants were asked which woman would be more likely to steal their own date. Because gonadal hormones influence competitive behaviour, we also examined whether oestradiol, testosterone and progesterone levels predict women's choices. The women found neither the late follicular nor the luteal version more attractive. However, naturally cycling women with higher oestradiol levels were more likely to choose the ovulatory woman as the one who would entice their date than women with lower oestradiol levels. These results imply a role of oestradiol when evaluating other women who are competing for reproduction.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Cognition, Learning and Memory (CCLM)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology > Biologische Psychologie (SNF)

UniBE Contributor:

Lobmaier, Janek; Bobst, Cora and Probst, Fabian

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

1744-9561

Publisher:

The Royal Society

Language:

English

Submitter:

Janek Lobmaier

Date Deposited:

22 Feb 2016 17:04

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2016 02:11

Publisher DOI:

10.1098/rsbl.2015.0638

PubMed ID:

26814224

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.75740

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/75740

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