Meta-Analysis of Menstrual Cycle Effects on Women’s Mate Preferences

  title={Meta-Analysis of Menstrual Cycle Effects on Women’s Mate Preferences},
  author={Wendy Wood and Laura M. Kressel and Priyanka Joshi and Brian E. Louie},
  journal={Emotion Review},
  pages={229 - 249}
In evolutionary psychology predictions, women’s mate preferences shift between fertile and nonfertile times of the month to reflect ancestral fitness benefits. Our meta-analytic test involving 58 independent reports (13 unpublished, 45 published) was largely nonsupportive. Specifically, fertile women did not especially desire sex in short-term relationships with men purported to be of high genetic quality (i.e., high testosterone, masculinity, dominance, symmetry). The few significant… 

Figures from this paper

Comment: Menstrual Cycle Fluctuations in Women’s Mate Preferences
We applaud Wood, Kressel, Joshi, and Louie’s (2014) careful, nuanced meta-analysis. The evolutionary hypotheses designed to explain menstrual cycle fluctuations in mate preferences are convoluted
Elusiveness of menstrual cycle effects on mate preferences: comment on Gildersleeve, Haselton, and Fales (2014).
This comment uses meta-analytic techniques to reconcile the apparent conflict between Gildersleeve, Haselton, and Fales's (2014) conclusion of "robust" effects of menstrual cycles on women's
Probing Ovulatory-Cycle Shifts in Women’s Preferences for Men’s Behaviors
Multilevel comparisons across two ovulatory cycles indicated that women’s mate preferences for men's behaviors did not shift across the cycle for either competitive or courtship behavior, and within-women hormone levels and relationship status did not affect these results.
Do women's preferences for masculine voices shift across the ovulatory cycle?
No evidence that inbreeding avoidance is up-regulated during the ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle
Since estradiol-to-progesterone ratio is positively associated with conception risk during the menstrual cycle, these results directly contradict the hypothesis that women’s preference for associating with male kin is down-regulated during the ovulatory (high-fertility) phase of the menstrual cycles.


Adaptive Design, Female Mate Preferences, and Shifts across the Menstrual Cycle
Evidence provisionally supports the idea that changes in women's sexuality and standards of male attractiveness across the menstrual cycle constitute special design for the function of obtaining genetic benefits through mating with men other than primary partners.
Changes in women's mate preferences across the ovulatory cycle.
Examination of women's preferences for traits typically valued in long-term and/or short-term mates varied according to women's fertility status supported the good genes hypothesis, and implications for models of human mating are discussed.
Women's Preferences for Male Behavioral Displays Change Across the Menstrual Cycle
Women's preference for men who displayed social presence and direct intrasexual competitiveness increased on high-fertility days relative to low-f fertility days, but only in a short-term, not a long-term mating context, adding to the growing literature indicating that women's mate preferences systematically vary across the reproductive cycle.
Race Bias Tracks Conception Risk Across the Menstrual Cycle
The effects of changes in conception risk across the menstrual cycle on intergroup bias was found to be positively associated with several measures of race bias, particularly strong when perceived vulnerability to sexual coercion was high.
Shifts in Methodology and Theory in Menstrual Cycle Research on Attraction
This paper critically examines the hypothesis that different phases of the menstrual cycle induce changes in women’s mate preferences. Empirically, we show that literature on this topic may be
Shifts in Masculinity Preferences Across the Menstrual Cycle: Still Not There
Harris (2011) failed to find support for the popular hypothesis that women are attracted to masculine-faced men when conception is likely but attracted to feminine-faced men during other menstrual
Women's preference for dominant male odour: effects of menstrual cycle and relationship status
It is shown that women in the fertile phase of their cycle prefer body odour of males who score high on a questionnaire-based dominance scale (international personality items pool), and this preference varies with relationship status, being much stronger in fertile women in stable relationships than in fertile single women.
Does the contraceptive pill alter mate choice in humans?
Effects of Menstrual Cycle Phase on Face Preferences
There is compelling evidence that the function of the effects of menstrual cycle phase on preferences for apparent health and self-resemblance in faces is to increase the likelihood of successful pregnancy.