The invention of the birth control pill SHOULD give us ladies license to sleep with whomever, whenever — I mean, um, unless you’re happily married like I am! *AHEM* OR if you’re worried about a little thing called STDs (yeah, whatever) — however, in a cruel twist of irony, a new study reveals that The Pill not only makes us less amorous, but also makes us seek out men who are “good long-term prospects,” rather than hot guys.
This must mean the researchers assume that “good long-term prospects” can’t be hot. In which case, they clearly haven’t met my husband! (Score one brownie point with the hubby for me.)
Two British anthropologists went hunting for information on how big an effect a little tweak to our hormones might make. Their findings, which were published in one of my FAVORITE publications, Trends in Ecology and Evolution (always read it right after that week’s Us Weekly), reveal that when women aren’t ovulating, they tend to gravitate toward photos of men with a more feminine look. The theory is that when hormones aren’t raging, women want to be with a less testosteronized man, one who is likely to stick around for the long haul.
With The Pill to smooth out peaks in hormones, researchers found that women weren’t ever drawn to the “macho man,” as a woman on a normal menstrual cycle with an ovulation-driven burst of hormones would be. And the fallout from that little hormonal tweak could be very significant — What if, asks one of the researchers, the man a woman chooses when she’s on The Pill isn’t the one she’d like to be with when she goes off of it — to make babies, for example?
Bottom line: The Pill is akin to beer goggles! Only a six-pack of Amstel Light is a lot more fun. (Yes, I’ve conducted my own research on this matter. I’m like an honorary “cultural anthropologist,” myself.)