A few days in a women’s whole menstrual cycle can drive sexual decisions and affect relationship dynamics.
A new study from the University of California published in the Psychological Bulletin, found that heterosexual women demonstrate a shift in mate preference during high fertility days in their cycle compared to low-fertility days.
“The idea is choosing someone as a sex partner who has characteristics that are likely to help your kids survive,” said Kelly Gildersleeve, the author of the study.
Different characteristics in men related to genetic qualities such as body phisique or behavioural traits like confidence, social dominance and competitiveness can push a women to be attracted to someone during her ovulation, said Gildersleeve.
“When women are mid-cycle and ovulating, their brain is programmed to be drawn to men with square jaws, V-shaped physique, symmetric facial features and good height. It’s about selection of the fittest,” said Rebecca Rosenblat, a psychotherapist, relationship and sexuality therapist.
“The idea here is to encourage mating, Mother Nature’s number one agenda,” said Rosenblat.
During ovulation, physical traits that would be passed on to their offspring is what drives women towards healthy and strong partners, said Dawn Macaulay, liberal studies program coordinator at Humber.
“We choose mates that will give us vigourous and lively children,” said Macaulay.
During these few days of ovulation, Women who are with a partner that are less masculine can feel more attracted to other men, said Gildersleeve.
“I can imagine a woman feeling kind of bothered by experiencing attraction to somebody other than their primary romantic partner, so they may start doubting that they are with the right person,” said Gildersleeve.
“But let’s keep in mind physical nature doesn’t have to rule our behaviour,” said Macaulay. “Our brain can override our impulses.”
Gildersleeve said the shift in attraction lasts only a few days due to our biological makeup.
“It’s based on this biological adaption that served to function a million years ago,” said Gildersleeve.
“We are not saying that what we once did or what we evolved to do is what we ought to do. It doesn’t speak to whether those are good behaviours or good feelings.”