Contraceptive Pill May Influence Women's Partner Choice

Posted on September 15, 2008

A new scientific study from the University of Liverpool found that the contraceptive pill may "disrupt women's natural ability to choose a partner genetically dissimilar to themselves." The disruption has to do with odor preferenes.
The research team analysed how the contraceptive pill affects odour preferences. One hundred women were asked to indicate their preferences on six male body odour samples, drawn from 97 volunteer samples, before and after initiating contraceptive pill use.

Craig Roberts, a Lecturer in Evolutionary Psychology who carried out the work in collaboration with the University of Newcastle, said: "The results showed that the preferences of women who began using the contraceptive pill shifted towards men with genetically similar odours.

"Not only could MHC-similarity in couples lead to fertility problems but it could ultimately lead to the breakdown of relationships when women stop using the contraceptive pill, as odour perception plays a significant role in maintaining attraction to partners."
That's an odd finding but an interesting one for women on the pill. How do you know the pill you are taking isn't influencing your decision?

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