Cyclic variation in women's preferences for masculine traits: Potential hormonal causes

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Abstract

Women's preferences for several male traits, including voices, change over the menstrual cycle, but the proximate causes of these changes are unknown. This paper explores relationships between levels of estradiol, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, prolactin, and testosterone (estimated using menstrual cycle information) and women's preferences for male vocal masculinity in normally cycling and hormonally contracepting heterosexual females. Preferences for vocal masculinity decreased with predicted progesterone levels and increased with predicted prolactin levels in normally cycling - but not hormonally contracepting - women. Adaptive explanations for menstrual variation in women's preferences for masculine traits are discussed and evaluated in light of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-127
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Nature
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 12 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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