Heat of the Moment
Caution: Girl on Heat
If your girlfriend starts dreamily talking about
bone structure and ogling tall, handsome strangers,
there is an explanation – she might be on heat.
But these frisky females aren’t looking for sex
just to have a good time: the priority during
the most fertile phase of their menstrual
cycle is to find ‘good genes’.
Most female mammals have a hormone-induced
oestrus or ‘heat’ but humans were not thought to
have it and were not considered to be aware of
when they were most likely to conceive.
‘Women don’t miaow and they don’t scratch
at the door but they do have oestrus.
It doesn’t just boost sexual desire.
It functions to get good genes.’
Women are far choosier around the time of ovulation.
In particular, during oestrus women are more attracted
to men with highly masculine faces and bodies.
They are also more swayed by bodily symmetry, which is
a reliable index of genetic quality. They are even
more attracted by the scent of symmetrical men.
In oestrus, women find highly masculine
voices more attractive as well.
Like other mammals, it seems that women are choosier about
what sort of man they will mate with when they are most fertile.
This implies that their sexual psychology is designed to obtain
good genes, rather than simply to secure any sperm.