2010 November 30 Tuesday
Women Avoid Fathers While Ovulating

Just like in other species.

Through an innovative use of cell phone records, researchers at UCLA, the University of Miami and Cal State, Fullerton, have found that women appear to avoid contact with their fathers during ovulation.
 
“Women call their dads less frequently on these high-fertility days and they hang up with them sooner if their dads initiate a call,” said Martie Haselton, a UCLA associate professor of communication in whose lab the research was conducted.
 
Because they did not have access to the content of the calls, the researchers are not able to say for sure why ovulating women appear to avoid father-daughter talks. They say the behavior may be motivated by an unconscious motive to avoid male control at a time when the women are most fertile. But a more primal impulse may be at work: an evolutionary adaptation to avoid inbreeding.

What I find most interesting here is that these women are changing their behavior while unaware that they are doing it. It took research on call records by researchers steeped in evolutionary theories about mating behavior to find this pattern. Humans imagine they have free will. But hormonal fluctuations pull at them like puppets on strings and they aren't even aware their strings are being pulled.

Behavior is altered in many ways by the menstrual cycle.

The study builds on a mounting body of evidence of subtle and significant ways in which women’s behavior is unconsciously affected by the approach and achievement of ovulation — a physical change that in humans has no outward manifestation of its own. Research has found that women tend to dress more attractively, to alter the pitch of their voices ways that are perceived as more attractive by men, and to contemplate more frequently the possibility of straying from their mates during high as opposed to low fertility periods of their menstrual cycle. Research has also shown that women are more attracted during high-fertility periods to men whose physique and behavior are consistent with virility, especially if they’re not already mated to men with these characteristics.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 November 30 09:16 PM  Human Nature Mating


Comments
Walenty Lisek said at November 30, 2010 10:28 PM:

"Humans imagine they have free will. But hormonal fluctuations pull at them like puppets on strings and they aren't even aware their strings are being pulled."

We are strange creatures living in the zoo of civilization who have forgotten we are human.

hbd chick said at December 3, 2010 12:11 PM:

brilliant. absolutely brilliant! (^_^) thanks for drawing attention to this research.

@randall - "Humans imagine they have free will. But hormonal fluctuations pull at them like puppets on strings and they aren't even aware their strings are being pulled."

that's the thing. free will, i think, is a load of baloney. we have will -- or wills -- of course. but free? i can't see how that works. we're biological creatures and not only do our hormones pull the strings, so does our neurological makeups, our personalities (which are heritable), our iqs, etc., etc. where is the "free" in all this?

Most of the reasons people give for their actions are, to my mind, simply after-the-fact rationalizations, part of the whole deception/self-deception routine that trivers has pointed out.

WJ said at December 4, 2010 5:25 PM:

And of course men avoid their mothers while masturbating, so it goes both ways.

Anonymous said at December 6, 2010 10:15 PM:

One of my exes used to put much more make-up on when she was on her high fertility peak. Even her taste in music changed. She didn't notice it herself, until I pointed it out to her.


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