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Bad boys are more attractive when seen through ‘ovulation goggles’

'Ovulation goggles'. You heard it here first.

No, seriously. 'Ovulation goggles', in a proper, academic press release. Thanks to research conducted by Kristina Durante (assistant professor at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Business), you can add that phrase to your lexicon of women-related, too-many-details concepts.

Kristina, bless her, has added to the folk-wisdom phrase 'treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen' with a detailed  study on exactly why and when women are more sexually attracted to 'sexy bad boys' (her phrase). Undoubtedly, this will do much to progress the plight of mistreated women across the world, plug the pay gap and eradicate gender discrimination.

Or maybe not.

"Previous research has shown in the week near ovulation women become attracted to sexy, rebellious and handsome men like George Clooney or James Bond," said Durante. "But until now it was unclear why women would ever think it's wise to pursue long-term relationships with these kinds of men."

And the men reading this now are all stroking their chins and thinking 'yeah, we were all bad and sexy before the long-term relationship'.

Durante did two studies. In the first study women viewed online dating profiles of either a sexy man or a reliable man during periods of both high and low fertility. Participants were asked to indicate the expected paternal contribution from the men if they had a child together based on how helpful the man would be caring for the baby, shopping for food, cooking and contributing to household chores.

Near ovulation women thought that the sexy man would contribute more to these domestic duties.

"Under the hormonal influence of ovulation, women delude themselves into thinking that the sexy bad boys will become devoted partners and better dads," explained Durante. "When looking at the sexy cad through ovulation goggles, Mr. Wrong looked exactly like Mr. Right."

Once again, the men reading are now muttering something under their breath along the lines of 'yeah, after she's neutered him'.

In another study women interacted directly with male actors who played the roles of sexy cad and reliable dad once during ovulation and again at low fertility. Again, ovulating women thought that the sexy cad—but not the reliable dad—would contribute more to childcare, but only if she were his partner.

"When asked about what kind of father the sexy bad boy would make if he were to have children with another woman, women were quick to point out the bad boy's shortcomings," said Durante. "But when it came to their own child, ovulating women believed that the charismatic and adventurous cad would be a great father to their kids."

Filling in that Gaydar profile never looked so tempting.

Source: University of Texas at San Antonio College of Business

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