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date: 17 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

An abundant amount of research into the human ovulatory cycle and related adaptive shifts in preferences and behaviors has been published in recent decades. Evidence suggests that fertility in women is accompanied by increased preferences for male traits that putatively signal underlying genetic quality, adaptive increases in sexual motivation, and changes in attractiveness. Yet, these supposed adaptive shifts remain controversial and disputed, while methods across studies have been inconsistent. In this chapter, we review the research on phenotypic variation across the human menstrual cycle, focusing on the related areas of preferences for male traits, sexual behavior and motivation, and cues to ovulation. Next, we consider the various methods currently used by researchers to ascertain conception risk and review recently published recommendations intended to guide future research and facilitate comparison across studies.

Keywords: menstrual cycle, fertility, conception risk, mate preferences, mating behavior, attractiveness

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