Hormonal contraception and mate selection: Are non-ovulating women disadvantaged?

Auld, Catherine (2011). Hormonal contraception and mate selection: Are non-ovulating women disadvantaged? Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Auld, Catherine
Thesis Title Hormonal contraception and mate selection: Are non-ovulating women disadvantaged?
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Professor Bill von Hippel
Total pages 80
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary I investigated the relationship between the use of hormonal contraception at pair-bond formation and female mate choice to determine whether hormonal contraception is associated with selection of lower genetic quality mates due to the suppression of ovulation. Study participants comprised 622 heterosexual American women aged between 20 and 30 years old. Participants responded to questions about hormonal contraception use and previous or current romantic partner attributes in an online questionnaire. Partners chosen when a female was using hormonal contraception were compared to partners chosen when a female was not using hormonal contraception on measures of male genetic quality (i.e., masculinity, physical attractiveness and intelligence), good dad traits (e.g., kindness and faithfulness) and sexual relationship quality. Contrary to expectations, partners selected when women were using hormonal contraception were rated significantly higher on all three dimensions. After controlling for the age of participants when they began dating partners and whether participants were rating current or former partners, these effects no longer remained statistically significant in within-subjects analyses. A between-subjects replication, however, continued to show the effect of hormonal contraception on good genes trait ratings. Recommendations for future research include incorporating objective ratings of partners by third party persons and exploring how positive non-contraceptive effects of hormonal contraception might impact on mate choice.
Keyword Hormonal contraception
Mate Selection

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Created: Fri, 08 Jun 2012, 10:15:18 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology