Original article:

Menstrual cycle changes in mate preferences for cues associated with genetic quality: The moderating role of mate value

Evolutionary Psychology 11(1): 18-35 Murray Millar, Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, murray.millar@unlv.edu


The purpose of the study was to explore the influence of mate value and fertility status on women’s implicit and explicit preferences for male traits associated with genetic quality. It was hypothesized that a woman low in mate value would experience greater fluctuation across her menstrual cycle in her preferences for characteristics associated with genetic quality than a woman high in mate value. Specifically, a low mate value woman during the non-fertile part of the cycle would experience a reduction in a desire for traits associated with health and reproductive success. To test the hypothesis, the college age female participants completed two measures of mate value and a self-report measure designed to gauge fertility status. Then the participants performed an Implicit Associations Test (IAT) designed to measure implicit associations with a male trait related to genetic quality and a questionnaire designed to measure their explicit responses to the same trait. As predicted, mate value moderated the relationship between fertility status and implicit preferences.


mate preferences, mate value, menstrual cycle

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Evolutionary Psychology - An open access peer-reviewed journal - ISSN 1474-7049 © Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young; individual articles © the author(s)

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