Wives don’t trust ovulating women around their men – report

18 Jan 2016

A new paper suggests heterosexual women don’t like when their spouses are around other women, primarily when the other women in question are ovulating. Can’t we all just get along?

An odd study recently published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology claims that women don’t like their partners coming into contact with other women that are ovulating.

The old adage is that men can’t be trusted, but the findings made by a group of Arizona State University researchers seem to point the finger to the minutiae of subtle cues from the female sex.

We can’t go on together…

The authors of the report note that research across many species show social perceptions, cognitions and behaviours “temporarily shift” when it comes to ovulation, pointing towards timely judgements on individuals’ reproductive fitness.

“Similarly, psychological research on humans has demonstrated that (a) women’s perceptions and behaviours shift across their own cycles and (b) men respond to these cyclic shifts,” the report reads.

It might sound crazy, but the research is actually pretty interesting. Taking hundreds of heterosexual women, engaged or married, the team gave them photos to look at.

These were pictures of other women and the subjects were asked to judge which of the people photographed would they be willing to let their partner befriend.

…in suspicious minds

The findings? Those pictured that were ovulating were generally disliked. This is incredibly strange as it’s hard to pin down visual cues to show someone is ovulating. However, somewhere, deep down, maybe humans can tell.

One of the wonderful lines in the research relates to mate-guarding techniques, which range from the subtle “e.g. affectionate displays, prioritising a partner’s needs” to the overt “e.g. physically attacking a potential poacher”.

The study “consistently reported intentions to socially avoid ovulating (but not non-ovulating) women”. Of course, this was only when the questioned ladies were with “highly desirable” partners. Those with ugly fiancés or husbands, perhaps, hadn’t any worries.

“Exposure to ovulating women also increased women’s sexual desires for their (highly desirable) partners.”

Suspicious woman image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic