Unnatural selection: Birth control pills may alter choice of partners

Oct 07, 2009

There is no doubt that modern contraception has enabled women to have unprecedented control over their own fertility. However, is it possible that the use of oral contraceptives is interfering with a woman's ability to choose, compete for and retain her preferred mate? A new paper published by Cell Press in the October issue of the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution reviews emerging evidence suggesting that contraceptive methods which alter a woman's natural hormonal cycles may have an underappreciated impact on choice of partners for both women and men and, possibly, reproductive success.

Human females are only fertile for a brief period during their menstrual cycle, just prior to ovulation. Many scientific studies have established that partner preferences of both and men vary significantly according to predictable hormonal fluctuations associated with the natural menstrual cycle. is associated with a profound shift in some female physical characteristics, behaviors and perceptions related to mate attraction.

Ovulating women exhibit a preference for more masculine male features, are particularly attracted to men showing dominance and male-male competitiveness and prefer partners that are genetically dissimilar to themselves. This is significant because there is evidence suggesting that between couples might be linked with infertility. Further, some studies have suggested that men detect women's fertility status, preferring ovulating women in situations where they can compare the attractiveness of different women.

The oral contraceptive pill alters the hormonal fluctuations associated with the menstrual cycle and essentially mimics the more steady hormonal conditions associated with pregnancy. "Although mate choice studies in humans have routinely recorded pill use during the last decade to control for its confounding effects, little effort has been invested in understanding the consequences of such effects of the pill," offers study author Dr. Alexandra Alvergne from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield.

Dr. Alverne and colleague Dr. Virpi Lumma reviewed and discussed new research supporting the conclusion that use of the pill by women disrupted their variation in mate preferences across their . The authors also speculate that the use of may influence a woman's ability to attract a mate by reducing attractiveness to men, thereby disrupting her ability to compete with normally cycling women for access to mate.

Of particular interest is the fact that women taking the pill do not exhibit the ovulation-specific attraction to genetically dissimilar partners. "The ultimate outstanding evolutionary question concerns whether the use of oral contraceptives when making mating decisions can have long-term consequences on the ability of couples to reproduce," suggests Dr. Lummaa.

Taken together, an increasing number of studies suggest that the pill is likely to have an impact on human mating decisions and subsequent reproduction. "If this is the case, pill use will have implications for both current and future generations, and we hope that our review will stimulate further research on this question," concludes Dr. Lummaa.

More information: Alvergne et al.: "Does the contraceptive pill alter in humans?'" Trends in Ecology and Evolution

Source: Cell Press (news : web)

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ArtflDgr
1.9 / 5 (14) Oct 07, 2009
this is old news... however since the left loves birth control as a passive means of eugenics (like margeret sanger their hero), they dont really care. it fits their (stated) destruction of family goals.

how many more divorces and such happen because of polices from the same left control freaks (note hitler was a let contr5ol freak too, not on on the right, unless you think of jefferson as a socialist).
makotech222
2.8 / 5 (12) Oct 07, 2009
this is old news... however since the left loves birth control as a passive means of eugenics (like margeret sanger their hero), they dont really care. it fits their (stated) destruction of family goals.

how many more divorces and such happen because of polices from the same left control freaks (note hitler was a let contr5ol freak too, not on on the right, unless you think of jefferson as a socialist).

lulz
God made the chemicals that can be put together to make birth control pills so your god is responsible for divorce and eugenics.

Eff you rightwinger
Caliban
3.8 / 5 (12) Oct 07, 2009
@ArtflDgr:
1. Hitler and his regime were not Leftist(socialist, communist), but FASCIST. Much like the power structure that we live under currently.
2. Eugenics, as practiced by the Nazis, was essentially a RACIST strategy to supplant or enslave the rest of the world by the Master(Aryan/Nazi) Race.
3. Birth control is not eugenics-it is the PREVENTION OF PREGNANCY, and there is no "(stated)" goal of the Left to destroy family values.
4. The purpose of birth control is to make it possible for humans to have sex for purposes other than procreation, without producing unwanted and unnecessary population that are more likely, by far, to be doomed to marginal lives of poverty, disease, and despair- thereby creating an evergrowing and permanent underclass of people always ready to be exploited. Apparently, this is the way you would prefer things-just like Fascists everywhere.
Bob_Kob
5 / 5 (3) Oct 07, 2009
Why does everything have to be compared to nazis? Nothing in this article or the other two posters alluded to such.
Mauricio
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 08, 2009
"The purpose of birth control is to make it possible for humans to have sex for purposes other than procreation, without"

People wants to make of basic biological needs a fetish, they want to idolize basic needs such as sex, eating and the like...

And yet, we still are unable to convert our sexual reproductive functions and corresponding anatomy, in a toy, without getting STDs, babies, emotional attachments and all the other things that come naturally with sexual relationships.
Sean_W
Oct 08, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Otto1882
1 / 5 (4) Oct 08, 2009
@ArtflDgr:
2. Eugenics, as practiced by the Nazis, was ... [to] enslave the rest of the world by the Master(Aryan/Nazi) Race.
4. The purpose of birth control is ...to have sex for purposes other than procreation...

Totally wrong with your second point. To make such childish claims shows one is totally ignorant of the subject and susceptible to silly soundbites and hasn't even a rudimentary knowledge of history.
One of the co-inventors of the pill regrets his contribution because the pill is being abused and has caused the collapse in reproductive rates to below replacement level in the West. This is a much more serious issue. People are given power by the pill but also a more active role to see procreation is at least to a level of replacement if we want to maintain our standard of living. To do otherwise is hedonistic, short-sighted and selfish to the extreme. People have shown themselves not to be responsible enough. Societal concerns outweigh individual concerns.
Otto1882
1.8 / 5 (4) Oct 08, 2009
[q
God made the chemicals that can be put together to make birth control pills so your god is responsible for divorce and eugenics.
Eff you rightwinger
I presume then you are a 'leftwinger' if you see his opposition in such simple dichotomy. Your point is trivial and childish to the extreme. Why do you even visit a site like this to make such low calibar comments? You obviously have no higher education and come off as a teenager.
Man is in charge of his universe as far as I am concerned and man has a history of abusing his power over the natural world and not wisely using his intellect.
It is unwise to make such a powerful pill so readily available without carefully considering all the societal and health consequences. If alcohol and other drugs can be tightly regulated so can these.
Rockstarbabu
Oct 08, 2009
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Rockstarbabu
Oct 08, 2009
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psychdoc
3.3 / 5 (3) Oct 08, 2009
how many more divorces and such happen because of polices from the same left control freaks (note hitler was a let contr5ol freak too, not on on the right...).

Actually, Germany, like many industrialized countries, has expressed a continued increase in divorce rates consistently in the capitalist Western portion of the country, with the communist East expressing lower increases in divorce until they merged with the West, at which time they assumed a capitalist economy and the divorce rates increased more quickly. Like marriages in the US, German couples experience a decline in satisfaction at or around the 5-year mark.
Interestingly, evangelical "Christians" in the US express higher divorce rates than non-evangelical "Christians," and evangelicals tend to lean right. If I'm interested in helping families, so I try to learn about how human nature might affect relationships. Women married to angry men die sooner.

/Hitler was evil & I am a capitalist
//Anger hurts families
Nederluv
Oct 08, 2009
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danman5000
5 / 5 (3) Oct 08, 2009
Amazing! From zero to Hitler in 1.0 comments.

As for the article, I'd like to think humans are a bit beyond being completely controlled by hormones. I don't turn into a violent, ultra competitive animal when there are women around. It's also not a bad thing if women don't always go for "more masculine male features." Then maybe intelligent, decent people like those on this site (except for the Hitler guy) might have a fighting chance.
marjon
Oct 08, 2009
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forams
Oct 08, 2009
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ArtflDgr
Oct 08, 2009
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ArtflDgr
Oct 08, 2009
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ArtflDgr
3 / 5 (4) Oct 08, 2009
"The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members." -- Margaret Sanger, letter to Clarence Gamble, Dec. 10,1939. - Sanger manuscripts, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College. (Dec. 10 is the correct date of the letter. There is a different date circulated, e.g. Oct. 19, 1939; but Dec. 10 is the correct date of Ms Sanger's letter to Mr. Gamble.)
ArtflDgr
2 / 5 (4) Oct 08, 2009
Birth control is not eugenics-it is the PREVENTION OF PREGNANCY, and there is no "(stated)" goal of the Left to destroy family values.

really?

"How will the family unit be destroyed? ... the demand alone will throw the whole ideology of the family into question, so that women can begin establishing a community of work with each other and we can fight collectively. Women will feel freer to leave their husbands and become economically independent, either through a job or welfare." -- From Female Liberation by Roxanne Dunbar

"The nuclear family must be destroyed, and people must find better ways of living together. ... Whatever its ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process. ... "Families have supported oppression by separating people into small, isolated units, unable to join together to fight for common interests." -- Functions of the Family, Linda Gordon, WOMEN: A Journal of Liberation, Fall 1969

i have tons of quotes
ArtflDgr
2.8 / 5 (5) Oct 08, 2009
"[W]omen, like men, should not have to bear children.... The destruction of the biological family, never envisioned by Freud, will allow the emergence of new women and men, different from any people who have previously existed." -- Alison Jaggar, Political Philosophies of Women's Liberation: Feminism and Philosophy, (Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams & Co. 1977)

"Destroy the family, you destroy the country." -- V.I. Lenin

i gave you three STATED... and a fourth from the source...

"Feminism, Socialism, and Communism are one in the same, and Socialist/Communist government is the goal of feminism." - Catharine A. MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (First Harvard University Press, 1989), p.10
psychdoc
5 / 5 (2) Oct 08, 2009
@ ArtflDgr
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26

Context is everything.
marjon
4 / 5 (4) Oct 08, 2009
Maybe this is why many American and European men are finding their wives from countries that don't use the pill.
ArtflDgr
4 / 5 (4) Oct 08, 2009
psychdoc,
i am sorry but i dont get the reference... as i pointed out, i am not that doctrinaire.. however, unlike some of the others, i see no reason to disparage things for some agenda. when the athiests together as a group do as much positive good as religious groups have, then it will be a discussion.

in general i am an old fashioned kind of person who believes everyone can go to hell their own way, and its seldom my business. unlike the tolerating people i dont have to agree with it. dont mean i have to actively work against it either.

meritocracies under rule of law are the best way to live. better to live off the crumbs of the creative and able, than to have a golden goose dinner for one day, and eat dirt fro then on.

Mauricio
1 / 5 (1) Oct 08, 2009
ArtflDgr, very, very, very nice quotes....

please, if you have more, keep them coming, they very nice.

Very funny that I thought that feminism had a strong hate engine, but I never thought that they would had wrote it down!

Remind me of the Socratic principle that "the only thing I know is that I know nothing", it fits me everyday.

The negro extermination quote, is nice, not a surprise at all, but it is nice to see it explicitly stated.

The truth will make us free

Thanks ArtflDgr
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 08, 2009


meritocracies under rule of law are the best way to live. better to live off the crumbs of the creative and able, than to have a golden goose dinner for one day, and eat dirt fro then on.



Seems that your point is that the "crumbs" of the creative and able are what everyone else has to exist upon, and they should be happy to have them???
Why do you feel that it is necessary for this
"crumb-eating" class to exist?
I suspect that somewhere in that crippled, reactionary mind of yours is the ghost of understanding, and I suspect that you understand that the creative and able would have a difficult time living their god-blessed and shiny little lives if they had to soil their hands performing all the dirty little tasks that sustain our society as we know it. Who cares if millions of people have to live miserable and poverty ridden lives, as long as that makes it possible for the elite creative and able to have theirs? It's obviuos that you certainly don't.
psychdoc
5 / 5 (1) Oct 09, 2009
@ Caliban--ArtflDgr does make a point in that reference. As a moral/sexual metaphor, it's pretty darn good. He's not saying that the "crumb-eating" class needs to exist, but that he'd rather live off of the crumbs of the creative than exchange a night of pleasure for a lifetime of emptiness. Even though he and I probably have the opposite political views, he just wants his children and grandchildren to grow up in a safe and loving environment. We (many of us) just define what that is differently.

We're all primed to start off angry on these things. Some witty combativeness is interesting some times as well. I'll combat disinformation with information, and try to do so in a poignant way (as I would hope others would do for me), but I do not want to perpetuate the anger. We are already too angry to do this much longer as a society. The proof is all in the history books: both secular and religious.
moregon
Oct 10, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
gwrede
1 / 5 (1) Oct 13, 2009
It is a good thing this study points us to problems in the human selection of mates. However, there are other, even more worrying factors disturbing this process.

Pervasive use of dental alignment, corrective surgery, treatment of hereditary diseases, infertility clinics, all result in people procreating with individuals of the opposite sex whom they'd never otherwise choose. Each of them carries genetic baggage with much larger long term changes to our genome than the subtleties of the menstrual cycle female preferences.

In time this leads to people who, without the help of doctors, can't chew their food, look ugly, and can't reproduce.

An (admittedly politically unimplementable) solution would be to sterilize all but the fit, and using their sperm and eggs for all who want to bear children.

At any rate, we need to do *something* about this, within this century.
ArtflDgr
1 / 5 (1) Oct 16, 2009
Why do you feel that it is necessary for this
"crumb-eating" class to exist?

because without them you wouldnt have most of the stuff that we love most and have it in a way that we can enjoy.

unlike many, i respect the fact that a whole population of genius elite is a big group of people who sit around fantasizing about reality (i know i work with them). the people i am talking about are the plumbers, brick layers, archetects, engineers, inventors, researchers, writers, and so on.

are you saying the world would be better if we just removed the class (an arbitrary set created by whim so as to leverage a false point as to the contents of that class)?

that we would be much bettter off without the laonarods, aristotles, edisons, and all those?

as i said, i would rather live in a waorld where i didnt ahve to invent the lightbulb myself inorder to enjoy all the abstract benifits.

remove one crumb maker, jonas salk, and we might not have this conversation.

Honka
not rated yet Dec 02, 2009
Caliban
1. Hitler and his regime were not Leftist(socialist, communist), but FASCIST. Much like the power structure that we live under currently.
---------------------------------
The Nazis identified themselves as National Socialists, the Soviets identified themselves as International Socialists. Both are leftist regimes in that the government commands and controls those aspects of the economy that it doesn't own outright. Both are totalitarian in that the government has absolute power.
Regarding the relationship between the government and the people, right wingers favor a decentralized government with limited power and minimal interference in the economy. That is just about the opposite of Fascism.
Regarding the comment "Much like the power structure that we live under currently" - Just curious: where do you live?

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