The Pill Might Be Making You Like Girly Men


Birth control pills are something of a double-edged sword. On one hand, they keep you from getting pregnant, which is presumably a good thing if you’re taking birth control pills. On the other hand, they are hormones, and might screw up chemical signals that attract you to the kinds of guys you “should be” attracted to. According to recent research discussed in the Wall Street Journal based on a study of — yes — lemurs, “contraceptives may influence the way the primates pick and choose their mates.” More specifically, apparently women look for “masculine” guys when they’re fertile.

When women are ovulating, they tend to be drawn to men with greater facial symmetry and more signals of masculinity, such as muscle tone, a more masculine voice and dominant behaviors.

But when a woman is on the pill, she actually may find less masculine guys more attractive. What does a masculine lemur look like compared to a feminine lemur? We have no idea, and the study doesn’t explain that. But if you constantly find yourself pairing up with the wrong guys, or lemurs, you can now blame your birth control pill.

Additionally interesting: A panel of 31 men “experienced the greatest attraction for the non-pill-using women when they were ovulating.”

In other news, the pill might also make you crazy. But at least you won’t get pregnant!

The Tricky Chemistry of Attraction [WSJ]