Entries in birth control pills (5)


Can Using Hormonal Birth Control Affect the Health of Future Children?

When choosing a partner to have children with, it is only natural to desire “Prince Charming” or “Cinderella,” who may pass on their beneficial genetic qualities to future kids. Given that better genes increase the offspring's survival and reproduction chances, mechanisms that detect “genetic quality” should have evolved to lead people to be sexually attracted to “knights in shining genes.”

One such cue for mate suitability is odor, which signals compatibility between potential mates' immune systems. Specifically, odor indicates the extent of overlapping between potential mates' immune systems, such that more attractive odor signals less overlap between mates' immune systems. The larger the dissimilarity between mates' immune systems, the more threats the immune system can combat.

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Pill Use and Mate Retention Tactics: Blame the Estradiol

image source: static.oprah.comThe majority of American women have used a hormonal contraceptive. According to a recent study, women taking hormonal contraceptives, and their male partners, display more “mate retention” tactics (i.e., doing things to keep their partners from straying, such as looking especially sexy or showcasing resources) compared to women, and male partners of women, who do not take hormonal contraceptives. Analyses revealed that it was the synthetic estradiol rather than progesterone that likely causes these effects.

Welling, L. L. M., Puts, D. A., Roberts, S. C., Little, A. C., & Buriss, R. P. (2012). Hormonal contraceptive use and mate retention behavior in women and their male partners. Hormones and Behavior, 61, 114-120.


Ovulation Makes Guys' Bling "Blingier"

In a recent study, researchers examined whether women pay more attention to men’s status cues when women are most fertile. Naturally cycling women (i.e., non-pill users) paid more attention to status symbols (e.g., sports cars, mansions) when they were ovulating compared to other times of their cycles. Also, ovulating non-pill users paid more attention to status than did pill users. Finally, pill users’ eye for status did not vary across the menstrual cycle.

Read more about status cues and conspicuous consumption here and here, and about the interesting effects of birth control pill use here and here.

Lens, I., Driesmans, K., Pandelaere, M., & Janssens, K. (2012). Would male conspicuous consumption capture the female eye? Menstrual cycle effects on women’s attention to status products. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 346-349.


Do Birth Control Pills Make Exotic Dancers Less “Titillating?”

In a recent article, I discussed how birth control pills alter the type of men that women find attractive, not to mention the quality of women’s sex lives. However, the sexual side effects of oral contraceptives don’t stop there. In fact, being on the pill even seems to impact the amount of money women can earn from a night of exotic dancing! Yes, you read that right.

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Do Birth Control Pills Really Lead to Bad Sex?

Most women know all too well that being on birth control means having to put up with a few side effects, including potential weight gain, nausea, and mood changes. However, fewer women are probably aware of the fact that the pill might also be affecting their sex lives. For instance, research suggests that the pill may alter the types of guys women find attractive. Perhaps even more important, some recent media reports have claimed that women on the pill are doomed to a lifetime of bad sex. Could this really be true? Is the pill putting a damper on women’s sexual fulfillment?

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