The birth control pill is credited by many with helping to start the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, but the results of a new study indicate that the pill might be facilitating a much more subtle change in sexual behavior--namely, the types of men women find attractive. As Linda Geddes explains for New Scientist:
As they approach ovulation, women prefer men with more masculine features, possibly because these reflect high sexual potency and better genes. During non-fertile periods they prefer more feminine facial features and attributes, perhaps because such men may be more nurturing and therefore better at helping to raise children, even if they are not their own. The pill may throw a spanner in the works...
Some studies have suggested that while women usually prefer the scent of men with immune profiles dissimilar to their own, those on the pill preferred men with similar immune profiles.
The article goes on to helpfully advise both men and women of strategies they can take to capitalize on this and other recent, related finds in the science of sexuality. What's your take? As Geddes puts it: "Has the pill changed the rules of sexual attraction?"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.