By Lisa Sigell
Women, men, relationships, marriage, divorce… the questions are endless and one woman may have some of the answers.
“Dr. Ruth probably talked more about the practical side of things. You know, what to do in the bedroom… whereas I’m trying solve some of the puzzles about why we feel the way we do,” UCLA Evolutionary Psychologist Martie Haselton said.
Haselton is attracting worldwide attention uncovering the laws of attraction.
“Primarily what I’ve been interested in is what’s going on between our ears when we are thinking about mating,” Haselton said.
Haselton’s work is being done right here on the campus of UCLA. She says a woman’s feelings and desires change depending on where they are in their cycle and when they are most fertile.
“Women’s hormones change across the menstrual cycle and these changes are related to fertility,” she added.
When is a woman most fertile?
About 14 days after a woman’s first day of her period is when she’s on a sort of ‘fertility high’ and filled with high desire. When a woman searches unknowingly for the best partner to reproduce with, she becomes more focused on how handsome and strong a man is.
“If a woman is partnered with a man who possesses those characteristics, then she may become more attractive to him when she is near ovulation within her cycle. If she’s not, then she might become attracted to somebody else and that’s something that we have seen in our studies over and over again,” Haselton said.
Haselton is not saying women act on these feelings but it is the time they surface most and when affairs are most likely to happen. It’s also the time that nice guys may finish last.
“During other cycle phases, women may prefer nice guy traits. During that narrow window of fertility, they may prefer more of what we think of as the bad boy traits,” she added.
And how does a woman’s high fertility affect men? Well it seems to change their behavior.
A study of exotic dancers shows they earned about $100 more per shift during their high fertility window that at any other time.
“Women are more flirtatious when they are fertile within the cycle,” according to Haselton.
They also tend to dress up more, their voices raise in pitch (that’s considered more feminine), their body odors are even more attractive to men and they compete more for men’s attention.
Dr. Haselton also says our DNA plays a big role in how we choose our mates. In fact, you can already test your genes to see if you’re chemically compatible with your partner and more likely to be satisfied in the long run. But, you don’t have to go to a lab because the answer may be right under your nose.
“Mother nature’s genetic compatibility test – kissing could be kind of like a taste test and women will tell you, if his odor doesn’t smell right to me, if I really don’t like the way that he smells, that’s a deal breaker. We just have this strong, emotional reaction. I mean you certainly wouldn’t be able to get access to this information if your just viewing somebody’s Match.com profile,” she added.
Yes, a lot is happening outside our awareness but that’s why love is such a mystery… or is it?