Empirical Findings of Menstrual Cycle Effects on Mate Preferences: A Meta-Analytic Review

  • Date: 28 Jan, Time: 03:30pm - 04:45pm
  • Location: Ballroom 20/BC

Wendy Wood1, Laura Kressel1, Priyanka Joshi1, Brian Louie1; 1University of Southern California

Are womens mate preferences guided by evolved dispositions reflecting the adaptive benefits of mate choice for ancestral women? A meta-analysis of 44 studies tested the hypothesis that women, when fertile, have an evolved preference for short-term mating with men with good genes indicators of masculine physical features (e.g., muscularity, deep voice, facial features). Challenging this hypothesis from evolutionary psychology, women in short-term mating contexts were no more likely to prefer men with masculine features when fertile than they did when not fertile. Nonetheless, published studies (but not unpublished) reported shifts in preferences across the cycle. In general, the results are consistent with evolutionary models in which women choose mates flexibly depending on the attributes valued in their current cultural contexts.

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