It turns out that women truly do like manly men, at least every once in a while.
A new study found that women with partners who have less masculine features are more prone to wander their eyes in search of the extra scruffy-types during the fertile phase of their cycle. The study, which is reported in the November issue of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, applies to heterosexual women and their ratings for short-term partners. Lifelong mates can relax a little.
Levels of attractiveness fall directly into the hands of science. The closer a woman gets to ovulation, the deeper she desires a strong jaw, chin and brow. Co-author of the study and University of New Mexico evolutionary psychologist Steven Gangestatd noted that, “What we found was … women who are with less facially masculine men — so more feminine men — they’re the ones showing a shift toward men other than their partner.” For example, during ovulation, it was more probable for women to have sexual fantasies about a non-partner.
Though it is strange that the levels of desire women feel toward macho men peaks only for a few days since these random hook-ups are more or less irrelevant to child bearing. It’s clear that biology is not psychic enough to distinguish between a fling and a commitment, “(when women) rate men’s sexiness, in a sense, that’s when they show the shift (but) if they rate men’s attractiveness as a long-term partner, then they don’t show it,” Gangestatd said. Therefore it seems that, for the most part, woman are looking for intimacy in the long run but are driven by lust during their fertile days.
As a result, this time in the cycle makes it easier for women to succumb to natural instinct.
Yet not all women are looking to reproduce, so how does biology work around the premise that attractiveness and desire are essentially related to fertility and reproduction? Psychologist Martie Haselton said that even though this lustful boost is found in most women, it’s usually “gone after a matter of days, and the relationship goes on as it was before.” Therefore, biology is important, but not concluding. Couples can easily have reproduction in mind or not.
The significance of the female mid-cycle explosion of desire is not clear. However, it is pretty important to note the effects of biology and how half of the time we are far from conscious of the forces that drive us, especially in the realm of lust-based physical attraction.
Camila Cossio is a creative writing sophomore and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.