According to a study published in Psychological Science, at certain points in a woman's menstrual cycle, she is more biased against men of races and social groups different from her own, particularly when she's at her most fertile. The increase in bias only occurs when she perceives those men to be physically threatening.
In previous studies, fertile women were found to be more attracted to physically imposing men within their race or social groups, and the new study suggests that those same traits fertile women view as positive within their own groups are viewed as negative in different groups. "Our findings suggest that women's prejudice, at least in part, may be a byproduct of their biology," says Melissa McDonald, the study's lead author.
But this behavior could also be "deeply ingrained at psychological levels," as the findings of the study are "consistent with the idea that women's prejudice may reflect the workings of an evolved psychological system that once functioned to protect them from sexual coercion, particularly when the costs are highest, that is, when they are fertile."
Bias grows when women are fertile [Futurity]
Image via CREATISTA/Shutterstock