Ovulatory Shifts in Women's Attractions to Primary Partners and Other Men: Further Evidence of the Importance of Primary Partner Sexual Attractiveness
Previous research has documented shifts in womenâs attractions to their romantic partner and to men other than their partner across the ovulation cycle, contingent on the degree to which her partner displays hypothesized indicators of high-fitness genes. The current study set out to replicate and extend this finding. Forty-one couples in which the woman was naturally cycling participated. Female partners reported their feelings of in-pair attraction and extra-pair attraction on two occasions, once on a low-fertility day of the cycle and once on a high-fertility day of the cycle just prior to ovulation. Ovulation was confirmed using luteinizing hormone tests. We collected two measures of male partner sexual attractiveness. First, the women in the study rated their partnerâs sexual attractiveness. Second, we photographed the partners and had the photos independently rated for attractiveness. Shifts in womenâs in-pair attractions across the cycle were significantly moderated by womenâs ratings of partner sexual attractiveness, such that the less sexually attractive women rated their partner, the less in-pair attraction they reported at high fertility compared with low fertility (partial r = .37, pdir = .01). Shifts in womenâs extra-pair attractions across the cycle were significantly moderated by third-party ratings of partner attractiveness, such that the less attractive the partner was, the more extra-pair attraction women reported at high relative to low fertility (partial r = â.33, pdir = .03). In line with previous findings, we found support for the hypothesis that the degree to which a womanâs romantic partner displays indicators of high-fitness genes affects womenâs attractions to their own partner and other men at high fertility.