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The Pill screws with women's attraction to men, ruins relationships

 
Anonymous Coward
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08/12/2008 11:32 PM
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The Pill screws with women's attraction to men, ruins relationships
[link to www.timesonline.co.uk]

August 13, 2008

The Pill may put you off smell of your man and ruin your relationship

To millions of women it has been the great liberator over the past four decades, allowing them the freedom to control their fertility and their relationships. But the contraceptive Pill could also be responsible for skewing their hormones and attracting them to the “wrong” partner.

A study by British scientists suggests that taking the Pill can change a woman’s taste in men — to those who are genetically less compatible.

The research found that the Pill can alter the type of male scent that women find most attractive, which may in turn affect the kind of men they choose as partners. It suggests that the popular form of contraception — used by a quarter of British women aged between 16 and 50 — could have implications for fertility and relationship breakdowns.

The findings, from a team at the University of Liverpool, add to growing evidence that the hormones in the Pill influence the way that women assess male sexual attractiveness.

The Pill is thought to disrupt an instinctive mechanism that brings together people with complementary genes and immune systems. Such a couple, by passing on a wide-ranging set of immune system genes, increase their chances of having a healthy child that is not vulnerable to infection.

Couples with different genes are also less likely to experience fertility problems or miscarriages. Experts believe that women are naturally attracted to men with immune system genes different to their own because of their smell.

Commenting on the latest study, the researchers said that it could indicate that the Pill disrupts women’s ability to judge the genetic compatibility of men by means of their smell.

They said that this might not only impact on fertility and miscarriage risk, but could even contribute to the end of relationships as women who stop or start taking the Pill no longer find their boyfriend or husband so attractive.

Several previous studies have suggested that women tend to prefer the smell of men who are different from them in a cluster of genes called the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which governs the immune system. Some of these studies have also found that this effect is not seen among Pill users.

The latest study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society, has now assessed the impact of Pill use in the same women, both before and after they began using oral contraception. A group of 97 women was tested, some of whom started taking the Pill during the course of the research. All had their MHC genes tested and were asked to sniff T-shirts worn in bed by men with different patterns of MHC genes.

Unlike some previous studies, the research did not find any preference for dissimilar MHC genes. However, when the women started taking the Pill their preferences shifted towards the scent of men with more similar genes to their own.

This suggests that Pill use has an effect on perceptions of scent attractiveness, even if there is no underlying female preference for similar or dissimilar MHC genes.

Craig Roberts, who led the study, said: “The results showed that the preferences of women who began using the Pill shifted towards men with genetically similar odours. Not only could MHC-similarity in couples lead to fertility problems, but it could ultimately lead to the breakdown of relationships when women stop using the Pill, as odour perception plays a significant role in maintaining attraction to partners.”

The research also found differences between women in relationships, who tended to prefer odours of men with different MHC genes, and single women, who tended to prefer the smell of MHC-similar men.

This could potentially indicate that if women are tempted to have an affair, they are more likely to choose a man with very different genes, to maximise the diversity of any offspring that they might have.

The scientists said that more work was needed to explain the way various studies have obtained different results on whether women naturally prefer men with different or similar MHC genes. They also cautioned that the importance of scent in human mating preferences remains uncertain.

The research backs up an earlier study of how women’s perceptions of partners can alter when taking the Pill. Psychologists from St Andrews and Stirling universities found that women on the Pill tend to prefer macho types with strong jaw lines and prominent cheekbones.

However, women who are not taking that form of contraception seem to be more likely to go for more sensitive types of men without traditionally masculine features.
Anonymous Coward
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08/12/2008 11:42 PM
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Re: The Pill screws with women's attraction to men, ruins relationships
Huh.

Now isn't that interesting?

When TSHTF, and there are no more Pills to be found, even losers will get laid.

Bring on the doom, baby. My basement hovel awaits you.
Anonymous Coward
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08/12/2008 11:43 PM
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Re: The Pill screws with women's attraction to men, ruins relationships
Women are actually hormone factories and if those hormones go awry they can either turn into nymphs or frigid cold fish or want to rip your head off. It's all about the hormones!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous Coward
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08/12/2008 11:46 PM
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Re: The Pill screws with women's attraction to men, ruins relationships
Huh.

Now isn't that interesting?

When TSHTF, and there are no more Pills to be found, even losers will get laid.

Bring on the doom, baby. My basement hovel awaits you.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 480358


Relationships are highly overrated....
Anonymous Coward
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08/13/2008 12:01 AM
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Re: The Pill screws with women's attraction to men, ruins relationships
Huh.

Now isn't that interesting?

When TSHTF, and there are no more Pills to be found, even losers will get laid.

Bring on the doom, baby. My basement hovel awaits you.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 480358

LOL
Anonymous Coward
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08/13/2008 12:41 AM
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Re: The Pill screws with women's attraction to men, ruins relationships
Short version...

Researcher makes up excuse to explain why his daughter runs around with trashy guys.
Hillcrest

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08/13/2008 01:07 AM
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Re: The Pill screws with women's attraction to men, ruins relationships
well, this thread is off to a flying start.

rofl
Water always wins. :sun:
Anonymous Coward
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08/13/2008 01:10 AM
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Re: The Pill screws with women's attraction to men, ruins relationships
I took the pill for years, and when I finally stopped I felt feminine again. Major change. Libido jumped big time.

While taking the pill, I didn't realize how much it had "neutered" me!

I've read elsewhere the damage to libido can be permanent.
Anonymous Coward
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08/13/2008 01:12 AM
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Re: The Pill screws with women's attraction to men, ruins relationships
I went on the pill for a few months. Got a bad case of acne and gained 10 pounds. No one wanted to sleep with me after that. Complete waste of time.
Anonymous Coward
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08/13/2008 01:17 AM
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Re: The Pill screws with women's attraction to men, ruins relationships
I first heard hints of this years ago. The article I read back then also mentioned that the jump in pill use correlated to the jump in divorces. Kinda makes sense--if you're hormones are screwed up in who you are attracted to and marry, the marriage isn't going to hold unless you're smart enough to use both of your heads in deciding who to marry.
emerald_glow

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08/13/2008 01:35 AM

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Re: The Pill screws with women's attraction to men, ruins relationships
There is no "THE PILL". There are different pills with different hormone content. Some of them screws up your hormone system, others are quite well tolerated.
They may not be perfect, but are waaaaay better than abortion.
A lot better than refraining from sex altoghether.
Also better than using condoms, not to mention the different intra-uterine devices with their side-effects and ineffectiveness.
Unwanted pregnancy also ruins relationships and lifes - big time.
Emerald_Glow

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