Publication Type

Journal Article

Version

Postprint

Publication Date

1-2009

Abstract

The ovarian steroid hormone oestradiol plays a crucial role in female fertility, sexual motivation and behaviour. We investigated the relationship between oestradiol and the likelihood that women would engage in opportunistic mating. Two salivary samples were taken from normally cycling women within the peri-ovulatory and luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. At both testing sessions, participants also completed selfperceived desirability scales and provided subjective reports of sexual and social motivations, and satisfaction with their primary relationship partner. Oestradiol level was positively associated with a woman’s self- and other-perceived physical attractiveness and with inclinations to mate outside her current relationship. Oestradiol was marginally negatively associated with a woman’s satisfaction with her primary partner and relationship commitment. Results provide support for the relationship between physical beauty and fertility and suggest that physiological mechanisms play a major role in guiding a woman’s mating strategies.

Keywords

hormones, oestradiol, fertility, attractiveness, women, female fertility, physical attractiveness

Discipline

Gender and Sexuality | Social Psychology

Research Areas

Psychology

Publication

Biology Letters

Volume

5

Issue

2

First Page

179

Last Page

182

ISSN

1744-9561

Identifier

10.1098/rsbl.2008.0709

Publisher

Royal Society

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2008.0709

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