Apparently, there is a fine line between “sexy” and “too sexy,” and it has everything to do with a woman’s hormones. A new study, led by Dr Kristina Durante and Prof Norm Li at the University of Texas shows that overly-fertile women are more likely to two-time their partners.
The key to this study is the hormone oestradiol. In women, the oestradiol affects ovulation and sexual drive. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, studied 52 female undergraduate students who did not use birth control. Researchers took oestradiol measurements twice during each woman’s ovulation cycle.
After each reading, researchers asked the women to rate their own attractiveness. In addition to this scientific game of “hot or not,” each woman in the study responded to a survey designed to gauge how likely they were to cheat on a partner following each hormone measurement. An independent group of observers was also brought in to rate each woman’s attractiveness.
The numbers show women with high levels of oestradiol are viewed—by themselves and others—as more attractive. These hormonal, more attractive women indicate a predilection toward flirting, kissing or engaging in ongoing sexual relations with someone not their partner. By the same token, women with high oestradiol levels reported less satisfaction with their current sexual partners.
Viewed in a larger, evolutionary sense, the data seems to make perfect sense. The goal of an oestradiol-rich woman is a fertilized egg. Therefore, a perceived sense of dissatisfaction with her current partner leads to sexual relations with multiple partners, increasing the odds her ovulating egg will be fertilized.
For those dating women who get constant looks and leers, it may be in your best interests to get an oestradiol test. Science now tells us too much sexy can be a bad thing.