Dr. Kristina Durante of the University of Texas said: “While women do not realise it, the hormones associated with fertility lead them to delude themselves about sexy, bad boys.”
Ladies! When will you learn to settle? Cads, why can’t you be good fathers?
The study recorded women’s reactions to certain types of men during both high and low levels of their fertility.
When I think of how this experiment was conducted I like the idea of, oh say, 20 men walking in to an awkward, overly orchestrated scientific soiree full of women. 10 of the men would be in biker jackets with a practised swagger and the rest in woollen tank tops and cords.
What actually happened is that Dr. Durante created fictitious online dating profiles. One account featured a “handsome, charismatic skier” and the other an “average-looking but successful accountant.” Young women were then asked which man seemed like father material. “Under the hormonal influence of ovulation, women delude themselves into thinking that the sexy bad boys will become devoted partners and better dads.”
Does this experiment sound a little familiar to you? Apparently this is because, according to Durante: “Previous research has shown in the week near ovulation women become attracted to sexy, rebellious and handsome men like George Clooney or James Bond.”
However research such as the study into hormones and desire at Florida State University was more concerned with the signs a woman might display when ovulating, “women aren’t showing off swellings, yowling or spraying” rather than who her chosen partner might be and why.
Durante is more interested in the continued pursuit of ‘Mr. Wrong’: “until now it was unclear why women would ever think it’s wise to pursue long-term relationships with these kinds of men”. Durante found that women who were near ovulation thought that the ‘sexy man’ would contribute more towards domestic duties. It seems that Science is telling me average-looking but successful accountants are much more reliable on the domestic duty side. I had no idea.
If you’re concerned the man sitting beside you, harrumphing over the morning papers is Mr. Wrong and your hormones tricked you then Dr Sari van Anders has some cynical words of comfort for you and your ‘ovulation goggles’: “These lab studies have never, to my knowledge, been extended into actual partner choice, If ovulation affects real-life mate choice so strongly outside the lab, why haven’t we seen these results?”
I think until you start showing off any swellings, yowling or spraying you can rest assured any delusions ovulation might give you just make life that bit more enjoyable. So thank-you science. And thank-you hormones.