Past work demonstrates that humans behave differently towards women across their menstrual cycles, even after exclusively visual exposure to women's faces. People may look at women's faces differently as a function of women's menstrual cycles. Analyses of participants' scanpaths (eye movement patterns) while they looked at women at different phases of their menstrual cycles revealed that observers exhibit more consistent scanpaths when examining women's faces when women are in a menstrual cycle phase that typically corresponds with peak fertility, whereas they exhibit more variable patterns when looking at women's faces when they are in phases that do not correspond with fertility. A multivariate classifier on participants' scanpaths predicted whether they were looking at the face of a woman in a more typically fertile- versus non-fertile-phase of her menstrual cycle with above-chance accuracy. These findings demonstrate that people look at women's faces differently as a function of women's menstrual cycles, and suggest that people are sensitive to fluctuating visual cues associated with women's menstrual cycle phase.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Behavioral Neuroscience