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Taking the pill for last 40 years 'has put women off masculine men'


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Taking the pill for last 40 years 'has put women off masculine men'



By David Derbyshire

Last updated at 6:26 PM on 07th October 2009




It ushered in the 1960s sexual revolution and gave women control over their own fertility.


But according to a new study, the Pill may also have changed women's taste in men.

Scientists say the hormones in the oral contraceptive suppress a female's interest in masculine men - and make boyish men more attractive.







Macho men: Stars such as Sean Connery, left, and Kirk Douglas, right, were considered pin-ups in the 1950s and 60s



Although the change occurs for just a few days each month, it could be enough to influence the fashions of the day.

If the theory is right, it could partly explain the shifting in tastes from macho 1950s and 1960s stars such as Kirk Douglas and Sean Connery to the more wimpy stars of today, such as Johnny Depp and Russell Brand.







Dr Alexandra Alvergne, of the University of Sheffield, says the Pill could also be altering the way women pick mates - and could have long term implications for society.


'There are many obvious benefits of the Pill for women, but there is also the possibility that the Pill has psychological side effects that we are only just discovering,' she said.


'We need further studies to find out what these are.'


The links between the Pill and sexual preferences are highlighted today in a new paper in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution.


Scientists have long known that a woman's taste in men changes over the menstrual cycle.


During the few days each month when they are fertile - around the time of ovulation - they tend to prefer masculine features and men who are more assertive.


On these fertile days, women are also more attracted to men who are 'genetically dissimilar', Dr Alvergne said. Picking a partner whose genetic make up is unlike their own increases the chances of having a healthy child.

On days when women are not fertile, their tastes swing towards more feminine, boyish faces and more caring personalities, researchers have shown.


However, if women are taking the Pill, they no longer have fertile days.

That means they no longer experience the hormonal changes that make them more attracted to masculine men - and those with dissimilar genetic make up.






Women's attraction to 'boyish' stars such as Johnny Depp, left, and Russell Brand may be due to hormones in the contraceptive pill



Although the effect is subtle, Dr Alvergne said it could alter society's view of male attractiveness.

'It is a possibility - but there is no evidence of this yet,' she said. 'We need a lot more research in this area.'


In her paper, Dr Alvergne reviewed seven studies showing how the Pill can alter women's behaviour.


She also found evidence from three studies that the Pill can affect the way men look at women.

Past studies have shown that men find women more attractive around the time of ovulation. One study showed that strippers at lap dancing clubs get bigger tips at the time of the month when they are most fertile.


Dr Alvergne said the use of the Pill could influence a woman's ability to attract a mate by reducing her attractiveness to men.


Her co-author at Sheffield, Dr Virpi Lumma said: 'The ultimate outstanding evolutionary question concerns whether the use of oral contraceptives when making mating decisions can have long-term consequences on the ability of couples to reproduce.'


An increasing number of studies suggest that the pill is likely to have an impact on human mating decisions and subsequent reproduction.


'If this is the case, pill use will have implications for both current and future generations, and we hope that our review will stimulate further research on this question,' said Dr. Lumma.


The changing fashions for film stars appear to show a shift from masculine men in the 1950s - before the advent of the Pill - to more boyish stars today.


Many of the biggest box office draws are boyish in appearance, rather than classically rugged. The top Hollywood earners of last year include Will Smith, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Hugh Jackman.


The rise of boyish film stars could also be partly explained by the cynical attempts to market movies and merchandise at an ever younger age group.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1218808/Contraceptive-pill-women-attracted-masculine-men--interested-boyish-looks.html#ixzz0THDJN0Ha

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:rolleyes: @ Mark...



seriously? I think a woman who has been taking the pill for 40 yrs has bigger things to worry about than being attracted to boyish men... lol


I think you might be taking the headline a bit too literally....................... :rolleyes:

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Women are attracted to fame, money, and talent.


Gay men are attracted to a fit body and symmetrical face.


Check the "sexy fit men" thread to confirm this. :rolleyes:



LOL good point...


I think you might be taking the headline a bit too literally....................... :rolleyes:



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