A study finds that a women's gait changes during the course of her menstrual cycle. Well, I should think so! Anyone who's had to endure wearing a heavy-flow pad could tell you that much. But how do men respond?
Considering — as studies (some more scientific than others) have reiterated ad nauseum — that much of our behavior has to do with the human instinct to breed like bunnies, one might conclude that during the most fertile days of a gal's cycle, she walks in a manner that is slightly more attractive to men (a bit of swing in the child-bearing hips). But no! As it turns out, the study in question found that ovulating ladies actually walked in a way that was less attractive to men:
Women might be subconsciously changing the cues that they emit (to a wide male audience) in such a way as to minimize the likelihood of receiving unwanted sexual attention when maximally fertile. […] There is supporting evidence for the "personal safety" argument, namely, women do seek to reduce their risk-taking (e.g., walking down an isolated alley) when in estrus.
So during ovulation, you perhaps take less risks, deflect sexual attention, and are a bit less bangin'. This goes against the majority of previous research — one attention-getting study reported that ovulating strippers made more in tips — but these opposite results make more sense: When you're maximally fertile, you tend to be maximally PMS-ing. Naturally you're going to emit a subtle "get the hell away from me" vibe.
Women's Gait Changes Across the Menstrual Cycle (And Men Notice It) [Psychology Today]
[Image via the awesome menstruation animation called Blob, by Koit.]