Male Perception of Cycle-Related Fluctuations in Women’s Attractiveness
Men tend to perceive female appearance and behavior as slightly more attractive during the follicular phase of their cycle
Women lack the conspicuous morphological and behavioral changes related to their menstrual cycle that are seen during estrus in some old-world monkeys, such as baboons, or in some apes, such as chimpanzees. In these species, changes in morphology and behavior – including genital swelling and active sexual solicitation – tend to peak in the fertile phase of the cycle and elicit elevated interest and sexual activity in their male conspecifics. Although they are not as conspicuous, some cyclic fluctuations in physical appearance and behavior can nonetheless be observed in women.
Cyclic Change in Women’s Appearance
Studies of cyclic fluctuations in attractiveness have focused on perception of individual attributes such as faces, body odor, and voice. Several...
KeywordsFollicular Phase Hormonal Contraception Body Odor Cyclic Fluctuation Fertile Phase
JH is supported by the Czech Science Foundation grant (P407/16/03899S).
- Gangestad, S. W., Haselton, M. G., Welling, L. L. M., Gildersleeve, K., Pillsworth, E. G., Burriss, R. P., et al. (2016). How valid are assessments of conception probability in ovulatory cycle research? Evaluations, recommendations, and theoretical implications. Evolution and Human Behavior, 37(2), 85–96. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.09.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Roberts, S. C., Havlicek, J., Flegr, J., Hruskova, M., Little, A. C., Jones, B. C., et al. (2004). Female facial attractiveness increases during the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, 271(Suppl 5), S270–S272. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2004.0174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Thornhill, R., & Gangestad, S. W. (2008). The evolutionary biology of human female sexuality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar