Shifts in women’s mate preferences across the ovulatory cycle: a critique of Harris (2011) and Harris (2012)

Kelly Gildersleeve, Lisa DeBruine, Martie G. Haselton, David A. Frederick, Ian S. Penton-Voak, Benedict C. Jones, David I. Perrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many studies have documented systematic shifts in women’s mate preferences and sexual motivations across the ovulatory cycle. Harris (2012) presents a nonreplication of one particular finding in this literature—namely, that women’s preference for masculinity in men’s faces shifts across the cycle. Harris critiques the empirical and theoretical literature on cycle shifts and concludes that the cycle shift hypothesis should be abandoned. Here, we situate Harris’s findings within the broader empirical literature and respond to several of the points in her critique. We conclude that the evidence for cycle shifts in women‘s mate preferences and sexual motivations is much stronger than Harris portrays and that she mischaracterizes the theoretical basis of this work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-524
JournalSex Roles
Volume69
Issue number9-10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Menstrual cycle
  • Ovulatory cycle
  • Ovulation
  • Facial masculinity
  • Mate preferences
  • Sexual motivations

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