Menstrual Cycle Effects on Attitudes toward Romantic Kissing

Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3UD, UK, .
Human Nature (Impact Factor: 1.96). 09/2013; 24(4). DOI: 10.1007/s12110-013-9176-x
Source: PubMed


Hormonal changes associated with the human menstrual cycle have been previously found to affect female mate preference, whereby women in the late follicular phase of their cycle (i.e., at higher risk of conception) prefer males displaying putative signals of underlying genetic fitness. Past research also suggests that romantic kissing is utilized in human mating contexts to assess potential mating partners. The current study examined whether women in their late follicular cycle phase place greater value on kissing at times when it might help serve mate assessment functions. Using an international online questionnaire, results showed that women in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle felt that kissing was more important at initial stages of a relationship than women in the luteal phase of their cycle. Furthermore, it was found that estimated progesterone levels were a significant negative predictor for these ratings.

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Available from: Robin Dunbar, Sep 13, 2014
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    • "More recent evidence has also found that participants who are generally more sensitive to cues signaling genetic quality, including women, high mate-value participants, and participants high in sociosexual orientation, placed greater importance on kissing in early stages of romantic relationships and were more likely to have their attraction to a potential mate influenced (either positively or negatively) by an initial kiss (Wlodarski and Dunbar, 2013a). Attitudes towards kissing in romantic interactions have also been found to vary across the menstrual cycle, with women in high conception risk cycle phases, who typically show the greatest sensitivity to cues signaling fitness (Gangestad and Thornhill, 1998; Havlicek, Roberts, and Flegr, 2005; Little, Jones, and Burriss, 2007; Penton-Voak et al., 1999), stating that kissing was more important at initial relationship stages than women at low conception risk cycle phases (Wlodarski and Dunbar, 2013b). "
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