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PROBLEM: Oral contraceptives can affect how attractive women are to men, as well as who they themselves are attracted to. And while there are plenty of reasons to start dating someone aside from how attractive we find them, its possible that these effects might have some influence on who we end up with.
METHODOLOGY: Researchers in Scotland designed several experiments that delved further into the hormonal quirks wrought by birth control. In the first, they gave young, straight women the ability to digitally alter images male faces. The participants tinkered with features like cheekbone prominence, jaw height, and face width, attempting to find the perfect ratio of attractiveness for either a short or long-term relationship. Some did the same, but with female faces. None of the women were taking birth control at the outset; after the experiment, they were given the option to start, which about a third took. Three months later, the experiment was repeated.
In the second study, volunteers were asked to rate the manliness of men in relationships, based on their mugshots. Half -- 85 -- of these men were dating women who had been on the pill when they first met.