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



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...


Follicular Phase Hormonal Contraception Body Odor Cyclic Fluctuation Fertile Phase 
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JH is supported by the Czech Science Foundation grant (P407/16/03899S).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

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

Section editors and affiliations

  • Gayle Brewer
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK