Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Women rating women

I commented on this group's earlier report that women preferred rugged men's faces when fertile, and more "kindly" faces the rest of the time.

This time they find that fertile women rate other women uglier than they do when not fertile. The first paragraph of the report is:

Women judge the attractiveness other women more harshly when at their most fertile, suggests a new study. The phenomenon could be a strategy to devalue potential rivals, says the psychologist behind the work - being bitchy about others could help a woman win the attention of a desirable man.
Umm, speaking as a man, I'm not sure that's a good winning strategy for a woman to try.

What strikes me as more important about this study was this:

Perrett's group previously found that women preferred more feminine, caring looking men for most of the month, but preferred more rugged, dominant looking types during the most fertile phase of their cycle.

In contrast, the women's attitudes towards male faces did not appear to vary with the menstrual cycle in this new study.

In other words they could not reproduce their earlier result .

I wonder if this is due to differences in the way researchers react to women in the fertile part of their cycle. Pheromones anyone?

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