Monday, May 21, 2012

Hormones make women choose 'bad boys'

It is a commonly heard complaint of men: women who prefer to date guys that are a bad influence to them, while the 'good guys' yield no interest. Scientists from the University of Texas at San Antonio have come up with an explanation for this type of behaviour, and, as might be expected, it likely has something to do with hormonal balances.

Scientists used a group of women as test subjects and made them look at a bunch of online dating profiles. The men in these profiles were either classified, by the scientists, as sexy or reliable. After assessing their profiles, the women participating in the study were asked whether they expected the person they saw to provide them with paternal care if they would have a baby together. This study was followed up with a real-life situation in which the women interacted directly with actors that played roles as either a sexy guy or a reliable dad.

Statistical analysis showed that women in the ovulation period were inclined to have more faith in sexy men than men who present themselves as more reliable and dependable. Somehow, during the period of ovulation, they deluded themselves into thinking that sexy men are better fathers, while the opposite was found to be true for the non-fertile period. According to the scientists, ovulation is providing some sort of psychological distortion.

Hormone balance
During ovulation, the body's hormonal balance is rather different than in non-fertile periods. It appears that the changes also cause altering judgement decisions. Of course, the scientists performed a rather simple experiment that does not dive deep into female biology, which means there is still a lot of explaining left to do, but the difference between ovulation and non-fertile periods is an interesting one.
Ovulation, at day 14 of the female menstrual cycle, is preceded by a rise in female hormones. 

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