Why men may remain monogamous despite temptation

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WASHINGTON - Men naturally find ovulating women more attractive, but deliberately play down this attraction if they are in a committed relationship, a new study has found.

Researchers at Florida State University looked at how relationship status influenced men’s attraction to a woman throughout her menstrual cycle, reports Discovery News.

They found that although men rated a woman the most attractive at the peak of her ovulation, male subjects in a committed relationship behaved the opposite by giving the woman lower attractive marks during her fertility peak.

To make sure subjects weren’t swayed by flirting or unnatural scents, researchers instructed the woman to wear the same modest clothes, taught her how to have neutral interactions with all the men, asked her to use scentless hygiene products and requested she ditch perfumes and deodorants during the experiment.

The results showed that people in relationships are more likely to subconsciously reduce thoughts of temptation.

Researchers call these tendencies “relationship maintenance strategies,” where we downplay the attractiveness of others we might be tempted by.

The authors admit the findings may not necessarily apply to sensing ovulation cues in women men already know, which would make another intriguing study in the future.

The study appears in the journal of Experimental Social Psychology. (ANI)

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