Forget expensive perfumes: When it comes to attracting a mate, women need look no further than their own natural chemical makeup.
A recent study from Florida State University asked men to rate the attractiveness of a female subject after spending a short interval of time with her. When the subject was ovulating, she was rated as more attractive and desirable than when she wasn’t ovulating. Apparently, men can pick up subconscious cues that alert them to a woman’s ovulation cycle, and their bodies instinctively respond by increasing their desire for mates who are most likely to be fertile.
However, all men aren’t turned on by this subtle biological information. In the study, it was found that some men were not attracted to the ovulating female subject. Men who were in committed relationships reported significantly less attraction to the subject when she was ovulating. Researchers theorize that this is because committed men “shut off” their biological drive in an attempt to safeguard their relationship.
Nor is this commitment to monogamy new to human behavior: In the early days, our ancestors had to be very careful when choosing mates. While men sought mates who were healthy, curvy, and seemingly fertile, women sought mates who were strong, fit, and able to provide protection and food. Getting pregnant in those days was a major endeavor, and if a woman chose a mate who was not up for the job, she would be alone in the wild attempting to care for herself and a hungry infant.
Thousands of years later, these cues might still be in place, which could be why a committed man might immediately go into “uninterested” mode around an ovulating woman. He knows he needs to protect and care for his family, so he chooses to become blind to other women’s assets, subconsciously taking himself off the market to ensure the survival and happiness of his own brood.
Of course, in these modern times, women do not need men to help protect or care for them, and many a strong, single mother has proven that! Nor do I believe that one’s relationship stability and happiness all comes down to subconscious biological cues. However, studies such as these help to better illuminate our relationships with one another and our connection to our ancestors as well, and for this reason they will always be a valuable and interesting resource.