-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Feb. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- So, when you're in
between menstrual periods, that shy, sensitive guy may make your
heart flutter, but the burly man with the deep voice looks
inexplicably irresistible when you're ovulating.
There's a biological reason for that, new research suggests.
It's likely that this shift in sexual preferences during
ovulation is an evolutionary holdover for humans, scientists
In the past, highly masculine characteristics in men likely
indicated high genetic quality, and mating with them increased
women's odds of having children who would survive and
"Women sometimes get a bad rap for being fickle, but the changes they experience are not arbitrary. Women experience intricately patterned preference shifts even though they might not serve any function in the present," study senior author Martie Haselton, a professor of psychology and communication studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), said in a university news release.
She and lead author Kelly Gildersleeve, a doctoral candidate in
psychology at UCLA, analyzed data from dozens of published and
unpublished studies. Their review was published online in the
February issue of the journal
The researchers noted that female mammals have shifting sexual
preferences and behaviors meant to improve their offspring's
chances of survival.
"Until the past decade, we all accepted this notion that human female sexuality was radically different from sexuality in all of these other animal species -- that, unlike other species, human female sexuality was somehow walled off from reproductive hormones," Haselton said. "Then a set of studies emerged that challenged conventional wisdom."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers an
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