No increased inbreeding avoidance during the ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle

Holzleitner, I. J. , Driebe, J. C., Arslan, R. C., Hahn, A. C. , Lee, A. J. , O'Shea, K. J. , Gerlach, T. M., Penke, L., Jones, B. C. and DeBruine, L. M. (2022) No increased inbreeding avoidance during the ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 4, e47. (doi: 10.1017/ehs.2022.41)

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Abstract

Mate preferences and mating-related behaviors are hypothesized to change over the menstrual cycle to increase reproductive fitness. Recent large-scale studies suggest that previously reported hormone-linked behavioral changes are not robust. The proposal that women's preference for associating with male kin is down-regulated during the ovulatory (high-fertility) phase of the menstrual cycle to reduce inbreeding has not been tested in large samples. Consequently, we investigated the relationship between longitudinal changes in women's steroid hormone levels and their perceptions of faces experimentally manipulated to possess kinship cues (Study 1). Women viewed faces displaying kinship cues as more attractive and trustworthy, but this effect was not related to hormonal proxies of conception risk. Study 2 employed a daily diary approach and found no evidence that women spent less time with kin generally or with male kin specifically during the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle. Thus, neither study found evidence that inbreeding avoidance is up-regulated during the ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:O'Shea, Dr Kieran and Jones, Professor Benedict and Lee, Dr Anthony and Hahn, Dr Amanda and DeBruine, Professor Lisa and Holzleitner, Dr Iris
Authors: Holzleitner, I. J., Driebe, J. C., Arslan, R. C., Hahn, A. C., Lee, A. J., O'Shea, K. J., Gerlach, T. M., Penke, L., Jones, B. C., and DeBruine, L. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Evolutionary Human Sciences
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:2513-843X
ISSN (Online):2513-843X
Published Online:28 September 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Evolutionary Human Sciences 4: e47
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
166879OCMATEBenedict JonesEuropean Research Council (ERC)OCMATE FP7ERC282655Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
172112KINSHIP: How do humans recognise kin?Lisa DeBruineEuropean Research Council (ERC)647910Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging