Human Nature

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 433–447 | Cite as

Women do not synchronize their menstrual cycles

  • Zhengwei Yang
  • Jeffrey C. SchankEmail author


It is widely believed that women who live together or who are close friends synchronize their menstrual cycles. We reexamined this phenomenon in two ways. First, we collected data on menstrual cycles from 186 Chinese women living in dorms for over a year. We found that women living in groups did not synchronize their cycles. Second, we reviewed the first study reporting menstrual synchrony. We found that group synchrony in that study was at the level of chance. We then show that cycle variability produces convergences and subsequent divergences of cycle onsets and may explain perceptions of synchrony.

Key words

Estrous synchrony Human pheromones Menstrual cycles Menstrual synchrony Reproductive synchrony 


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Copyright information

© Transaction Publishers 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North Sichuan Medical CollegeNanchongPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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