Friday, July 13, 2012

Ovulation makes women dance more attractively

Evolutionary speaking, a male and female having sex is the most efficient during ovulation. During that time, an egg is released from the female ovaries, which means pregnancy is possible. It is possible that, over the course of millions of years, evolution has made women behave slightly differently during ovulation, in an 'effort' to promote sexual activity during periods of fertility. Previous studies showed that women have a different choice in men during ovulation, and a more recent publication reveals that men perceive a dancing women who is in her fertile period to be more attractive. It seems that fertility therefore coincides with a higher degree of being desired by men, something that is, of course, evolutionary favourable.

Robbie Williams
During the study, female participants aged between 19 and 33 were asked to dance while being filmed, while being accompanied by a Robbie Williams song. In order to reduce visual cues that may be 'distracting' to men, as well as differences in attractiveness between individual women, the scientists only showed the 'outline' of the female body when showing the video. What that means is shown below in a demonstration video provided by New Scientist.

To evaluate whether being fertile or not had any effect on men, the scientists asked a group of 200 male students to assess the attractiveness of the women dancing and moving in the videos. Using a scoring system where the men were allowed to give points, the scientists found that women at their most fertile were slightly more attractive than those who were not ovulating at the time of the video being shot. This only applies to attractiveness of movements, as that is the only thing discernible from the video.

Even though the differences in scores, as assessed by the male participants, was small, it posed a statistically significant difference. The study thereby shows a correlation between ovulation and attractiveness of female movements. It corresponds with an earlier study performed by analysing lap dancers, who were shown to receive more tips around the time of ovulation. What causes the increase in attractiveness is currently being speculated, but it could be that evolution has favoured development of visual cues that help men discern, whether consciously or unconsciously, when a woman is ovulating. The scientists, however, think it is simply a by-product of physiological changes associated with fertility.

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