Study: Fertile women want dominant men

July 8, 2005

A Czech study finds that women who are ovulating tend to prefer the smell from the armpits of dominant men.

Jan Havlicek of Charles University in Prague got 48 men to complete questionnaires that measured their social dominance, Nature reports. The men were also asked to collect their underarm sweat by wearing cotton pads.

A group of 65 women then sniffed the pads.

Havlicek and his colleagues reported in Biology Letters 1 that women who were ovulating -- and thus at their most fertile -- and were in stable relationships rated sweat from the men with high scores for dominance highest. Other women did not show this preference.

The researchers suggested that while women are likely to pair up with men they believe will be good fathers they might be hardwired to stray with men with good genes.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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