Can birth control substances alter our perception of others’ attractiveness?
What if scientists informed you that taking birth control pills made us unintentionally more attracted to less manly looking men? Will the 92 million prescriptions for birth control pills in the U.S. be lowered if so?
Psychoneuroendocrinology recently published a two part investigation where 18 heterosexual college-aged women in the U.K. were shown composite images of male and female faces, then asked to adjust the images until they zeroed in on the face they found most attractive for a short-term or long-term relationship.
The participants were tested twice: once when they weren’t on the pill and three months later when they were. Another group of participants were tested as well: a larger group of various women who weren’t on the pill.
“The results revealed that the women were less partial to masculine facial features when they were on the birth control pill than when they were not on it. Masculine facial features included larger jaws, more prominent brow ridges and more angular features. However, being on the pill did not influence the women’s preferences when they were looking at photos of other women, suggesting that the pill somehow affected what they found attractive in potential mates, but not in faces in general,” shares the Huffingtonpost.com.
In a second experiment, scientists collected 170 couples. 50% of these women were on the pill before they entered the relationship. Researchers showed random volunteers the pictures of these 170 male faces and asked to rate each according to their masculinity level. The results yielded the same from experiment 1: the females on birth control prior to entering a relationship ended up with the men whom random volunteers rated as less masculine physically.
A 2012 study led by a researcher at the University of Stirling concluded that women who were actively on the pill when they met their partner later found themselves less attracted to them physically and sexually than non-pill users. The upside is that these women who were on the pill initially seemed to be happier with their partners in other areas, such as finances.
Does this propose that although birth control pills make us attracted to less masculine looking men, it strips us away from our lust and shallowness? We can then rationally focus on more logical benefits, such as: their finances, long-term potential, loyalty, etc.?
Share with me your thoughts. Have you ever taken birth control pills or been with someone who was on it? Did they have side effects: physically, mentally, or both?
Can Birth Control Make You Less Attractive To Men? Why More Researchers Are Saying ‘Yes’. (n.d.). Retrieved January 24, 2015, from http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2011/05/can-birth-control-make-you-less-attractive-to-men-why-more-researchers-are-saying-yes/
Do Birth Control Pills Make You Less Attracted To Masculinity? (n.d.). Retrieved January 24, 2015, from http://www.blisstree.com/2013/04/02/sex-relationships/do-birth-control-pills-make-you-less-attracted-to-masculinity/
(n.d.). Retrieved January 24, 2015, from http://cdn4.gurl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/blonde-woman-looking-at-birth-control-pills.jpg
(n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2015, from http://reproductivehealths.com/img1/525×260/r/2011/05/Birth-Control-Pills.jpg
Pearson, C. (n.d.). Do Birth Control Pills Make Women Prefer Feminine Men? Retrieved January 24, 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/01/birth-control-attraction_n_2981391.html