The effects of alcohol and fertility on women's sexual decision making




Altgelt, Emma

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The current study examined the effects of alcohol consumption and fertility status on women's perceptions of a potential partner's sexual interest. Previous research suggests alcohol consumption and higher fertility could increase women's propensity to engage in sexual behaviors. Participants were single, normally cycling women ages 21-30 recruited from San Antonio, TX. Participants completed an assessment of fertility status, were randomly assigned to consume alcohol or no alcohol, and then engaged in a face-to-face speed-dating interaction with a male confederate. After the interaction, participants made judgments of their conversation partner's sexual and short-term interest in them. Results showed an interactive effect of alcohol consumption and fertility status on women's perceptions of their partner's interest. In the alcohol condition, but not in the no alcohol condition, increases in fertility significantly predicted increases in perceived partner interest. Findings hold implications for alcohol myopia theory and evolutionary theories of the impact of ovulation on women's mating strategies.


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Alcohol, Fertility, Women