Original Article

Sex Roles

, Volume 69, Issue 9, pp 507-515

First online:

Shifts in Masculinity Preferences Across the Menstrual Cycle: Still Not There

  • Christine R. HarrisAffiliated withPsychology Department, University of California, San Diego Email author 

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Harris (2011) failed to find support for the popular hypothesis that women are attracted to masculine-faced men when conception is likely but attracted to feminine-faced men during other menstrual cycle phases. In response, DeBruine et al. (2010) wrote a commentary criticizing Harris theoretical analysis and data (e.g., sample age). The current paper addresses those criticisms with new data analysis, additional literature review, and logical arguments. Harris’ results are not attributable to her sample’s age; no preference shift was found for the subsample of women under 30 years old and no hint of an interaction existed between participant age group and menstrual cycle phase. This work also revisits the questionable assumptions inherent in the cycle shift hypothesis and reviews literature that suggests such assumptions are not tenable.


Attractiveness Evolutionary theory Menstrual cycle shifts Masculinity preferences Ovulatory cycle Infidelity