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. 2002 May 7;269(1494):975-82.
doi: 10.1098/rspb.2001.1952.

Changes in Women's Sexual Interests and Their Partners' Mate-Retention Tactics Across the Menstrual Cycle: Evidence for Shifting Conflicts of Interest

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Free PMC article

Changes in Women's Sexual Interests and Their Partners' Mate-Retention Tactics Across the Menstrual Cycle: Evidence for Shifting Conflicts of Interest

Steven W Gangestad et al. Proc Biol Sci. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Because ancestral women could have obtained genetic benefits through extra-pair sex only near ovulation, but paid costs of extra-pair sex throughout the cycle, one might expect selection to have shaped female interest in partners, other than primary partners, to be greater near ovulation than during the luteal phase. Because men would have paid heavier costs if their partners had extra-pair sex near ovulation, one might also expect selection to have shaped males' efforts to track their primary partners' whereabouts to be increased near ovulation, relative to the luteal phase. Women filled out questionnaires about their sexual interests and their partners' mate-retention tactics twice: once within 5 days before a lutenizing hormone surge and once during the luteal phase. Results showed that: (i) women reported greater sexual interest in, and fantasy about, non-primary partners near ovulation than during the luteal phase; (ii) women did not report significantly greater sexual interest in, and fantasy about, primary partners near ovulation; (iii) women reported that their primary partners were both more attentive and more proprietary near ovulation.

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