Peak fertility increases satisfaction with ‘manly’ husbands


Women feel more satisfied with masculine husbands when they are at their most fertile.

Psychologist Andrea L. Meltzer made this claim following her study of 70 newly married couples. Each relationship represented the first marriage for both spouses involved. She asked the participants to fill out a questionnaire every evening for 14 days. Wives were asked how happy they were with their marriage as well as their “conception risk”. This risk was highest when they were ovulating. Meanwhile, the husbands were given questions about what extent they behaved in typically “masculine” ways. They were asked how powerful, assertive or dominant they had been during the course of each day.

The purpose of this research was to test a hypothesis Meltzer held about relationships. She explained that previous research has shown that “women demonstrate ovulatory shifts in their mate preferences in the context of short-term relationships”. Basically, this means that when a woman is at her most fertile, she is most likely to find men who display manly qualities more attractive. Meltzer wondered if this would carry over to long-term committed relationships – specifically marriage – as well.

She found that women whose husbands displayed “behavioral [sic] masculinity” reported higher levels of overall happiness with their marriage at peak fertility. Meanwhile, wives whose spouse did not exhibit such traits did not see any significant change in their satisfaction.

Meltzer explained there was one caveat to her finding. As her study involved newlyweds it was “unclear whether the results generalize to other populations of long-term couples such as dating couples or couples who have been married for longer periods of time”. She suggested another potential issue was that the men reported on their own levels of masculinity. As these claims “may be subject to self-report bias, future research should consider using more objective measures of men’s masculinity”.

The study was published in the academic journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences.

Photo by Vincent Diamante via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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1 comment

Paul - May 18, 2017 at 12:18pm

Laugh out loud !!! This is hilarious.
Keep monitoring these couples. Because when these guys split up. That lovely ‘masculine’ behaviour that used to get her all excited will latter be reinterpretted as ‘Abussive’ or ‘Mysogynistic’ behaviour. She will call the feds and get the poor fella locked up for it. She will use it as an excuse to stop him from seeing his kids.
Things are so much easier when she was ovulating. Women Lol x

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