A new study asserts that women with high levels of the so-called "Marilyn Monroe" hormone are not only considered more attractive than their peers, but are also more likely to be unfaithful.
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin tested the hormone levels of 52 female undergraduates ages 17 to 30. They had the women rate their own attractiveness, and found that subjects who have higher levels of oestrogen are more likely to consider themselves pretty. They also showed photographs of the volunteers to a panel of two men and seven women, asking them to chose the students that they considered "prettiest." Again, researchers found that the women who were deemed physically attractive by their peers had higher levels of oestrogen. Finally, they delved deep into the sexual histories of their subjects, ultimately finding that the high-hormone ladies reported more sexual behavior outside long-term relationships, and were more likely to engage in “opportunistic serial monogamy.”
Dr. Kristina Durante, an evolutionary psychologist and author of the report, said: “Physically attractive women receive more male attention and, when in relationships, are more likely to be the targets of mate poaching.” So according to Durante, pretty women are more likely to cheat on their significant others when someone better (meaning hotter or richer?) comes along than their uglier, more faithful counterparts. In a particularly annoying scientific justification of negative stereotypes, Durante says:
Because it's difficult to obtain a partner who is a good provider and also has good genes, women often have to trade off between having a long-term mate who provides continual material resources and more physically attractive, short-term sexual partners with good genetic resources.
However, highly attractive women demand greater amounts of both types of resources in a male partner, in addition to good parenting and partner skills. Thus, physically attractive women may not only have more alternatives but also high standards that are difficult to satisfy.
So, to recap, women are simply waiting for a “good provider” to come along and sweep them off their feet, but until then, we are willing to mate with the genetically blessed, but materially poor, in order to fulfill our biological need to procreate. Durante even cites Angelina Jolie as an example of an attractive woman with a “highly desirable” mate. She argues that although women may no longer need men to provide for us, there's a deep-rooted psychological inclination to snag the Brad Pitts of the world and hold on to them for dear life: “[Angelina] doesn’t need Brad Pitt long term, but she still faces these same preferences.”
High hormone levels in women linked to unfaithfulness [New Scientist]
Feeling pretty? Hormones may lead to more... [Reuters]
Beautiful women more likely to have affair because of sex hormone [Telegraph]
'Marilyn Monroe' hormone discovered [News.au.com]