Changes in relationship quality across the female menstrual cycle: a diary study of dating couples
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Strategic pluralism in human mating behaviors has been explored in recent years. Women may engage in short-term and long-term mating relationships simultaneously to reap the benefits of both strategies. However, little research testing the extent to which the strategies are used within couples has been conducted. According to this model, women typically should engage in long-term mating strategies. However, during ovulation when the risk of conception is greatest, women may enact a short-term mating strategy, particularly if their primary relationship is not perceived to be high in quality or if their current partner is viewed as less attractive. The current study followed 45 couples for 30 consecutive days. Both partners in each couple were asked to complete daily diaries that involved ratings of daily relationship quality, jealousy, and ovulation cues. Additionally, saliva samples were collected from each woman to confirm her ovulation status. Using Hierarchal Linear Modeling (HLM), the data confirmed that women tended to be less interested in their primary relationship during ovulation, the effect being more pronounced if women reported less relationship satisfaction or were mated with less attractive partners. Men also reported that their partners were less focused on the relationship and that their partner's scent was more attractive during ovulation than at other times of the menstrual cycle. These provide some evidence that women tend to focus less on their romantic relationships during ovulation, and that men tend to corroborate their partner' s reports.
Chen, Jennie Ying-Chen (2005). Changes in relationship quality across the female menstrual cycle: a diary study of dating couples. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from