So when you read that an Indiana University neuroscientist discovered women's brains respond differently to male faces depending on the stage of their menstrual cycles, do you think to yourself, "Aha!" Who among us has never looked at a guy we previously thought to be hot and suddenly found him to be a wee bit fug? Out of nowhere, his skin seems leathery, his pores huge and filthy, his teeth urinal yellow. And, almost as disconcerting, sometimes a guy you never found attractive becomes spontaneously delicious. It's like he's stepped into a shaft of heavenly light or something. Time stops, the angels sing, you knit your eyebrows and stare, incredulously. When did he get foxy? The answer is often simple: Ovulation Goggles.
The I.U. study, which involved 12 (?!) heterosexual women ages 23-28 who were not using hormonal contraceptives or in committed relationships, involved morphing male faces to appear more or less masculine. Sexual risk information included how many guys the women had slept with and condom use. The women were asked to indicate how likely they would be to have sex with the man depicted. The results? Women were more apt to engage in risky sexual behavior when ovulating. "These findings suggest that women's brain systems that process rewards may be more sensitive around the time that women are likely to conceive," said Heather Rupp, research fellow at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. Hey, Heather: No shit! Throw a few cocktails into the equation and you've got the stuff one-night stands are made of. What we really need is some kind of alarm — maybe on our cell phones? — that can warn us not to liplock while under the influence of hormones. Someone wanna get started on that?