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If someone asked you what your "type" is when it comes to men, naturally, you'd describe your adorable husband, right? But researchers beg to differ. Interestingly, when scientists at UCLA analyzed the data from dozens of studies on female sexual preferences, they found that our taste in men changes as our hormones fluctuate during the month.
For instance, researchers say that when we're ovulating, we're more likely to be attracted to traditionally "masculine" men (think: deep voice, tall, square jaw, and a more dominant personality). After ovulation? Well, science suggests that we're attracted to a different range of traits in men—good conversationalist, intelligence, and other qualities that make for great long-term partners.
The researchers say the somewhat-controversial findings have an evolutionary explanation. Our cave-woman ancestors, for instance, might have sought out more physically dominant partners in order to increase the odds of survival for themselves and their offspring.
"Women sometimes get a bad rap for being fickle, but the changes they experience are not arbitrary," said Martie Haselton, lead author of the study and a professor of psychology and communication studies at UCLA. "Women experience intricately patterned preference shifts even though they might not serve any function in the present."
While the findings may raise an eyebrow or two, the evidence is certainly interesting. The UCLA team points to a few compelling past studies, one that found that women who are married or dating men they view as "less sexy" are more likely to be attracted to men who are "very sexy" when they ovulate. In another study, women were instructed to sniff T-shirts of men, and, interestingly, during ovulation, their noses preferred the scent of traditionally masculine men. And, perhaps most fascinating of all, another study found that ovulating women were more likely to vote for President Obama than Senator McCain.
Slaves to our hormones we are not, but next time you find your heart beating a little faster when you see a movie starring The Rock, you'll know why!