My lecture later this week in Arlington, Virginia

Evidence is piling up that women are attracted to different kinds of men when they are in the fertile phase of their monthly cycle than when they aren’t.  When ovulating, they more strongly prefer men who are masculine, intelligent, and competitive with other men.  By “smoothing” hormone levels throughout the cycle, the oral contraceptive pill cancels out the monthly surge in preference for men with these qualities.  To put it another way, female use of the pill is good news for males who are less masculine, less intelligent, and less competitive.

Men, in turn, find women most attractive precisely when they are most fertile.  By suppressing ovulation, the pill makes a woman’s average attractiveness to men over the monthly cycle lower than it would have been otherwise.

Must I list all the reasons why this is disturbing?

(Summarizing the results of Alexandra Alvergne and Virpi Lummaa, “Does the Contraceptive Pill Affect Mate Choice in Humans?”  Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 30, No. 10.)