Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Male Perception of Cycle-Related Fluctuations in Women’s Attractiveness

  • Jan Havlíček
  • S. Craig Roberts
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_8-1

Synonyms

Definitions

Men tend to perceive female appearance and behavior as slightly more attractive during the follicular phase of their cycle

Introduction

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...

Keywords

Follicular Phase Hormonal Contraception Body Odor Cyclic Fluctuation Fertile Phase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Notes

Acknowledgments

JH is supported by the Czech Science Foundation grant (P407/16/03899S).

References

  1. Fink, B., Hugill, N., & Lange, B. P. (2012). Women’s body movements are a potential cue to ovulation. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(6), 759–763. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2012.06.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fischer, J., Semple, S., Fickenscher, G., Jürgens, R., Kruse, E., Heistermann, M., & Amir, O. (2011). Do women’s voices provide cues of the likelihood of ovulation? The importance of sampling regime. PloS One, 6(9), e24490. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024490.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. 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
  4. Haselton, M. G., Mortezaie, M., Pillsworth, E. G., Bleske-Rechek, A., & Frederick, D. A. (2007). Ovulatory shifts in human female ornamentation: Near ovulation, women dress to impress. Hormones and Behavior, 51(1), 40–45. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2006.07.007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Havlíček, J., Cobey, K. D., Barrett, L., Klapilová, K., & Roberts, S. C. (2015). The spandrels of Santa Barbara? A new perspective on the peri-ovulation paradigm. Behavioral Ecology, 26(5), 1249–1260. doi:10.1093/beheco/arv064.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kuukasjarvi, S., Eriksson, C. J. P., Koskela, E., Mappes, T., Nissinen, K., & Rantala, M. J. (2004). Attractiveness of women’s body odors over the menstrual cycle: The role of oral contraceptives and receiver sex. Behavioral Ecology, 15(4), 579–584. doi:10.1093/beheco/arh050.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Miller, G., Tybur, J. M., & Jordan, B. D. (2007). Ovulatory cycle effects on tip earnings by lap dancers: Economic evidence for human estrus? Evolution and Human Behavior, 28(6), 375–381. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2007.06.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 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
  9. Roney, J. R., & Simmons, Z. L. (2012). Men smelling women: Null effects of exposure to ovulatory sweat on men’s testosterone. Evolutionary Psychology, 10(4), 703–713. doi:10.1177/147470491201000404.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Thornhill, R., & Gangestad, S. W. (2008). The evolutionary biology of human female sexuality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Charles UniversityPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.University of StirlingStirlingUK