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Women's gaydar (for men) improves when ovulating

Red-hot 'mating prime materials' inflame sorority girls

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Trick-cyclists in Canada have found that women become much better at telling whether a man is gay – based merely on looking at a photo of his face – when they are ovulating and fertile. In the course of determining this, the psychology profs revealed that they possess highly effective scientifically-verified texts, the mere reading of which sends nubile young sorority girls into a mating frenzy.

In the first part of the study, 40 female students in Toronto were shown photos of 80 men: 40 of the men were gay and the other 40 straight. According to the psychologists conducting the research, "the men did not differ in emotional expression or attractiveness". The students also recorded the necessary dates to identify what stage they were at in their menstrual cycle.

It was found that the nearer the women were to peak ovulation, the better they were at judging a pictured man's sexual orientation. Their gaydar – for men – improved magically as they became fertile. In a further study featuring 34 young women who examined the photos of 100 lesbians and 100 straight ladies, no variation in the accuracy of the undergraduates' gaydar was observed across their cycle.

"This suggests that fertility influences a heterosexual woman's attention to potential mates rather than merely increasing sensitivity to sexual orientation or nonverbal cues more generally," says trick-cycling prof Nicholas Rule.

Rule and his co-authors further explored their theory by conducting another and more sensational study in which 21 out of another 40 women were put into "mating-prime condition". To achieve this, the young ladies were loved up by having them read "mating prime materials", that is: "a story ... which described a romantic encounter; this manipulation has effectively primed mating goals in past studies". The women all then went through the same photo sets as in the previous trials.

Apparently being "primed" for mating by reading the special psychologist-tested saucy romanta-script conferred much the same improved chap-gaydar abilities as being fertile did: again, there was no corresponding accuracy jump in detecting lesbian tendencies.

Rule and his colleagues write:

The accuracy of judgments of male sexual orientation therefore appears to be influenced by both natural variations in female perceivers' fertility and experimentally manipulated cognitive frames.

You can read the hot-from-the-dept-of-the-bleedin-obvious paper Mating Interest Improves Women's Accuracy in Judging Male Sexual Orientation in the journal Psychological Science.

For our part, we here on the Reg science-involving-sorority girls desk are off to get ourselves a copy of the apparently dynamite "Griskevicius mating-prime materials" used in the third study, so as to carry out a rigorous investigation of their effects when left strategically positioned on coffee tables etc. ®

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