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Which behaviors do women find particularly attractive to men?
For a long time, it was thought that women find different behaviors attractive to men, depending on what part of their cycle they are in. However, the latest results show that changes in the cycle of women do not affect their preferences and that all flirting men are generally rated as more attractive for sexual relationships, but less attractive for long-term relationships.
The current study by the Georg-August University in Göttingen found that changes in the cycle of women do not affect their preferences for men's behavior. However, there were fundamental differences in preferences for certain behaviors. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Psychological Science".
Does the cycle of women determine their preferences?
So far, it has been assumed that women find different behaviors attractive to men, depending on which part of the cycle they are in. However, this doubts the results of the new study with the largest sample size to date.
No influence of changes in the cycle was found
Changes in the cycle had no effect on the preferences of women for a certain behavior of men. The research group found that women generally found all men to be somewhat more attractive during their fertile days. During this time, women rated flirting men as more attractive for sexual relationships, but at the same time rated these men as less attractive for long-term relationships.
Do women prefer men with certain genes?
The so-called good genes ovulatory shift hypothesis assumes that during ovulation women are attracted to men who have good genes for potential offspring. To test this hypothesis, the study examined 157 heterosexual participants between the ages of 18 and 35 with a natural, regular cycle.
Participating women had to rate videos with men
The participants watched videos showing a man who meets a woman who is not visible in the video. In four sessions, the participants rated men according to their sexual attractiveness for a short-term, non-binding relationship and their attractiveness for a long-term relationship. The participating women should pay particular attention to the behavior of the men.
Saliva samples and highly sensitive urine ovulation tests were used to determine the current hormone level, particularly to determine the fertile days of the participants.
During the fertile days, all men appear more attractive
No evidence was found that the woman's preference for the partner changes in the course of the ovulation cycle. However, women simply seemed to rate every man as somewhat more attractive during their fertile days.
Flirting men not so attractive for long-term relationships?
For example, if men used flirting to woo women more, they would appear more attractive for short-term sexual relationships. However, women perceived them to be less attractive for long-term relationships. These observations were independent of the cycle phase or hormone levels.
Mating motivation of women increased in the fertile phase
“There is a lot of research into women's partner preferences, so we were initially surprised that we didn't see the same effects. However, our new results are consistent with other recent studies. The fact that the subjects rated the attractiveness of the men as higher regardless of their behavior in the fertile phase is new and indicates that the motivation to mate for the women is higher in this phase, ”says study author Dr. Julia Stern from the Institute of Psychology at the University of Göttingen in a press release. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Press release: What women really want, University of Göttingen (published March 6th, 2020), University of Göttingen
- Julia Stern, Tanja M. Gerlach, Lars Penke: Probing Ovulatory-Cycle Shifts in Women’s Preferences for Men’s Behaviors, in Psychological Science (published March 4, 2020), Psychological Science