Can Men Detect Ovulation?

  title={Can Men Detect Ovulation?},
  author={Martie G. Haselton and Kelly A. Gildersleeve},
  journal={Current Directions in Psychological Science},
  pages={87 - 92}
In contrast to our closest cousin, the chimpanzee, humans appear at first to lack cues of impending ovulation that would mark the fertile period in which a female can become pregnant. Consequently, that ovulation is “concealed” in women has long been the consensus among scientists studying human mating. A recent series of studies shows, however, that there are discernible cues of fertility in women’s social behaviors, body scents, voices, and, possibly, aspects of physical beauty. Some of these… Expand

Figures from this paper

Human ovulation cues
In most mammals, cues of impending ovulation — including changes in appearance and sexual behavior — mark the fertile phase within the ovulatory cycle. Such cues were long thought to have beenExpand
Female Adaptations to Ovulation
Particularly when compared to many other primates, human females appear to have lost any cues to their ovulatory status at some point during our evolutionary past. Until recently, it was assumed thatExpand
Kin Affiliation Across the Ovulatory Cycle
Using duration and frequency of cell-phone calls, an objective behavioral measure that reflects motivations to interact socially, it is shown that women selectively avoid interactions with their fathers during peak fertility, suggesting that psychological mechanisms underlying mating psychology regulate sexual avoidance behaviors and in women they fluctuate according to fertility status. Expand
The spandrels of Santa Barbara? A new perspective on the peri-ovulation paradigm
It is argued that cyclic changes need not result from incomplete concealment of ovulatory status and that ovarian hormone levels underpin between-individual differences in both women’s attractiveness and their mate preferences, which influence the sexes’ mate-choice decisions. Expand
Human estrus: implications for relationship science
Most mammalian females possess classic estrus, a discrete phase of the ovulatory cycle during which females engage in sex and undergo dramatic physical changes that make them attractive to males. ByExpand
Ovulation in many female mammals is preceded by estrus, physical changes that advertise to potential mates their high fertility status and act to attract male mating efforts. In humans, estrus wasExpand
Attunement to the fertility status of same-sex rivals: women's testosterone responses to olfactory ovulation cues
Olfactory cues signaling a rival's heightened level of fertility were associated with endocrinological responses in women that could be linked to intrasexual competition. Expand
Comparative perspectives on human reproductive behavior
Cyclic changes in women's sexual desire are consistent with an ancestral pattern in which hormonal shifts around ovulation prime behavioral patterns. We use comparative primate data to evaluate theExpand
Can women detect cues to ovulation in other women's faces?
Recent research suggests that men find portraits of ovulatory women more attractive than photographs of the same women taken during the luteal phase. Only few studies have investigated whether theExpand
Female Fertility and Male Mating: Women's Ovulatory Cues Influence Men's Physiology, Cognition, and Behavior
Evolutionary theories of mating suggest that shifting fertility levels during a woman’s menstrual cycle play an important role in the formation and maintenance of romantic relationships. In thisExpand


Adaptations to Ovulation
In socially monogamous species in which males heavily invest in offspring, there arises an inevitable genetic conflict between partners over whether investing males become biological fathers of theirExpand
Ovulatory shifts in human female ornamentation: Near ovulation, women dress to impress
It is shown that readily-observable behaviors - self-grooming and ornamentation through attractive choice of dress - increase during the fertile phase of the ovulatory cycle, and this effect may help explain the previously documented finding that men's mate retention efforts increase as their partners approach ovulation. Expand
Scent of a Woman
Olfactory cues signaling women’s levels of reproductive fertility were associated with specific endocrinological responses in men—responses that have been linked to sexual behavior and the initiation of romantic courtship. Expand
Female facial attractiveness increases during the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle
It is shown here that both men and women judge photographs of women's faces that were taken in the fertile window of the menstrual cycle as more attractive than photographs taken during the luteal phase, indicating the existence of visible cues to ovulation in the human face. Expand
Vocal cues of ovulation in human females
The high- versus low-fertility difference in pitch was associated with the approach of ovulation and not menstrual onset, thus representing, to the authors' knowledge, the first research to show a specific cyclic fertility cue in the human voice. Expand
Conditional expression of women's desires and men's mate guarding across the ovulatory cycle
These findings demonstrate ovulation-contingent shifts in desires and behaviors that are sensitive to varying fitness payoffs, and they provide support for the good genes hypothesis of human female extra-pair mating. Expand
Changes in women's sexual interests and their partner's mate–retention tactics across the menstrual cycle: evidence for shifting conflicts of interest
Results showed that women reported greater sexual interest in, and fantasy about, non–primary partners near ovulation than during the luteal phase; but women did not report significantly greater sexualinterest in, or fantasies about, primary partners close to ovulation. Expand
Major histocompatibility complex genes, symmetry, and body scent attractiveness in men and women
The results indicate that the two olfactory systems are independent and men, but not women, showed a preference for t-shirts with the scent of MHC dissimilarity, while women's scent ratings of t- shirts were uncorrelated with the wearer's MHC Dissimilarity and allele frequency, but positively correlated with the wears' MHC heterozygosity. Expand
Changes in Women's Choice of Dress Across the Ovulatory Cycle: Naturalistic and Laboratory Task-Based Evidence
It is suggested that clothing preference shifts could reflect an increase in female—female competition near ovulation, and sexually unrestricted women, for example, showed greater shifts in preference for revealing clothing worn to the laboratory near Ovulation. Expand
The receptivity of women to courtship solicitation across the menstrual cycle: A field experiment
  • N. Guéguen
  • Medicine, Psychology
  • Biological Psychology
  • 2009
It was found that women in their fertile phase, but not pill-users, agreed more favorably to the request thanWomen in their luteal phase or in their menstrual phase. Expand