A new study has discovered that the Pill alters the way a woman feels about her partner – and researchers are urging women to come off the contraception in the run-up to marriage to ensure their feelings remain the same.
Scientists from Stirling University found that women who take the contraceptive pill generally stay in a relationship two years longer than those who use natural contraception – but are more likely to stay put even if the ‘spark’ disappears.
To investigate this further, researchers questioned 2,500 women on their contraception and sex lives. They discovered those on hormonal contraceptives were less attracted to their partner and sexually unsatisfied during their relationship than those who didn’t use the Pill.
However, they also discovered that these women were happier with their partner’s financial support and other non-sexual aspects of the relationship.
Researchers believe that relationship stability could be down to women being drawn to men with low levels of testosterone as they tend to be more faithful.
Talking about the results, Dr Craig Roberts from the study, said in a statement: “Our results show some positive and negative consequences of using the pill when a woman meets her partner. Such women may, on average, be less satisfied with the sexual aspects of their relationship, but more so with non-sexual aspects.
“Overall, women who met their partner on the pill had longer relationships - by two years on average - and were less likely to separate. So there is both good news and bad news for women who meet while on the pill. One effect seems to compensate for the other.
"Choosing a non-hormonal barrier method of contraception for a few months before getting married might be one way for a woman to check or reassure herself that she’s still attracted to her partner."
The findings were published in the Proceedings Of The Royal Society B journal.
The study comes after previous research that found three quarters of British women believe there's no such thing as the perfect man and only see their partner as 69% perfect.
The Science Of Attraction
The Colour Of Love
Like a red rag to a bull it would seem the colour red also fires up the passion in women. A study at the University of Rochester asked 288 female and 25 male undergraduates to look at photos of a man in which his shirt was digitally coloured either red or another colour. Women in a variety of countries agree that the red shirt made the man appear "more powerful, attractive and sexually desirable."
The Scent Of A Man
Women can subconsciously sense if a man is attracted to her by the smell of his sweat, according to a study at Rice University in Texas. A group of 19 women in their twenties were exposed to two types of male sweat - one labelled 'normal' and the other 'sexual'. The normal sweat was obtained from the men while they were watching educational videos while the 'sexual' sweat was gathered while they were watching an erotic video. The women's brains were monitored while they were exposed to the sweat. The brain activity showed that they recognised and responded to the sexual sweat.
The Perfect Ratio
Anthropologists in New Zealand carried out studies to find the precise waist to hip ratio that drives men wild. Volunteers were asked to rate the attractiveness of images of women that had their bust, hip and waist sizes digitally altered. The eye movements of the participants were tracked using infra-red cameras. Most men were drawn to the breasts but hips and waists were also important. The most attractive ratio was the waist measuring 70% of the hips. Not surprisingly, Marilyn Monroe, Kate Moss and Jessica Alba all share this ratio.
Masculine Men And Feminine Faces
Men with high levels of testosterone are attracted to women with highly feminine faces, a study at Aberdeen University found. A group of 70 women and 30 men underwent a series of tests to examine the role of testosterone in attraction between the sexes. It was found that attitudes towards the opposite sex changed depending on their fluctuating testosterone levels throughout the day. Researcher Dr Ben Jones, said "When men's testosterone levels were high, they were more attracted to feminine women. When women's testosterone levels were high they were more attracted to masculine men."
The Time For Love
According to a study by Florida State University men are unconsciously attracted to a woman's scent when she is ovulating. Four female volunteers - two who were ovulating and two who were not - were asked to wear a plain white T-shirt for three consecutive nights. Male volunteers were asked to smell the T-shirts. Those who smelled the T-shirts of the ovulating women had testosterone levels 37% higher than those who smelled the T-shirts of the women who were not ovulating.
It's a long-held belief that we are naturally attracted to people that resemble ourselves. In an experiment conducted by the University of Illinois, volunteers were shown pictures of of two faces morphed together. One group was shown images of faces of strangers morphed together while the other group was shown faces that were a composite of a stranger's face and up to 45% their own face. The subjects shown images containing their own face found the picture more sexually attractive.
Contrary to the theory that we choose partners similar to ourselves and backing up the old adage 'opposites attract', scientists have found an evolutionary reason why we may be attracted to those who are genetically most different to us. A Brazilian study found tthat people are more likely to choose someone with differences in the DNA region that governs the immune system as parents with dissimilar genetic regions could provide their offspring with a better chance to ward infections off because their immune system genes are more diverse.