Commonly associated with mood swings, weight gain and loss of libido, startling new evidence shows the pill may be hindering your love life.
By BB Psychologist Sophie Hughes
Psychologists at the University of California are adding to the rigmarole of negative side affects by suggesting the contraceptive pill may actually make you less attractive to the opposite sex.
Professor Martie Haselton explores a growing body of evidence which suggests men can detect and are attracted to fertility cues in women. In a recent study, lap dancers who did not take the contraceptive pill were found to earn significantly more per shift during the fertile phase of their menstrual cycle compared to other phases.
In contrast, lap dancers on the contraceptive pill showed no earnings peak associated with their cycle phase. These findings suggest that hormonal contraceptive use disrupts women’s attractiveness across their menstrual cycle and may substantially limit their ability to attract Mr Right.
Even more unnervingly, it seems your flirting prowess may also be stifled by the pill.
Naturally cycling women were found to respond more favourably to opportunities to flirt and ultimately dance with attractive men. Similarly, women not on the contraceptive pill reported greater interest in partying on fertile days than non-fertile days.
So whilst it’s clear that the contraceptive pill is failing in the wing woman domain, how exactly is it affecting your pulling power and what changes near ovulation that makes women more attractive to men? Dr Haselton points towards outward changes in women’s social behaviours, body odours, physical appearance and even voices as the answer to this question.
Yes ladies, it seems your reproductive hormones affect the sexiness of your voice and that men are capable of deciphering the fertility information found in the tone of your voice. In a humorously entitled “stinky t-shirt study” men also rated women’s sweaty tees worn at high fertility as smelling sexier than those worn at low fertility, which is both grotesque and fascinating in equal measures.
Overall findings suggest that the loss of ovulation cues caused by the contraceptive pill makes women less attractive to and less inclined to flirt with the opposite sex.
Whilst this is a fairly uninspiring notion and indeed may affect your tips should you ever take up a career in lap dancing, don’t rush to throw out your pills just yet. Dr Haselton points out that further research is needed and that few studies have been conclusive.
“Can men detect ovulation”? Martie G. Haselton. Kelly Gildersleeve, university of California.
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