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High Hormone Levels In Women May Lead To Infidelity, Study Shows

Date:
January 30, 2009
Source:
University of Texas
Summary:
Women with high levels of the sex hormone oestradiol may engage in opportunistic mating, according to a new study.

The researchers found that a woman's oestradiol level (sex hormone level) was positively associated with self-perceived physical attractiveness. Women with a higher oestradiol level also reported a greater likelihood of flirting, kissing and having a serious affair (but not a one-night stand) with a new partner.
Credit: iStockphoto/Valentin Casarsa

Women with high levels of the sex hormone oestradiol may engage in opportunistic mating, according to a new study by psychology researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.

Doctoral candidate Kristina Durante and Assistant Professor of Psychology Norm Li published their findings in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biology Letters.

"The study offers further evidence that physiological mechanisms continue to play a major role in guiding women's sexual motivations and behavior," Durante said.

Durante and Li investigated the relationship between oestradiol, an ovarian hormone linked to fertility, and sexual motivation in a study of 52 female undergraduates not using contraception. Participants' ages ranged from 17 to 30 years old.

The researchers measured the participants' hormone levels at two points during each woman's ovulatory cycle and then asked them to rate their own physical attractiveness. Independent observers also rated the participants' physical attractiveness.

Participants also answered survey questions that measured their propensity to cheat on a partner.

The researchers found that a woman's oestradiol level was positively associated with self-perceived physical attractiveness. Women with a higher oestradiol level also reported a greater likelihood of flirting, kissing and having a serious affair (but not a one-night stand) with a new partner.

Oestradiol levels were negatively associated with a woman's satisfaction with her primary partner.

"Our findings show that highly fertile women are not easily satisfied by their long-term partners and are motivated to seek out more desirable partners," Durante explained. "However, that doesn't mean they're more likely to engage in casual sex. Instead, they adopt a strategy of serial monogamy."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Durante et al. Oestradiol level and opportunistic mating in women. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biology Letters, 2009; 1 (-1): -1 DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2008.0709

Cite This Page:

University of Texas. "High Hormone Levels In Women May Lead To Infidelity, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127133113.htm>.
University of Texas. (2009, January 30). High Hormone Levels In Women May Lead To Infidelity, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127133113.htm
University of Texas. "High Hormone Levels In Women May Lead To Infidelity, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127133113.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

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