Ovulation Changes Women Into Hyper Competitive She-Hulks

Illustration for article titled Ovulation Changes Women Into Hyper Competitive She-Hulks

Today in Lady Hormones Be Crazy!: New research shows that right around ovulation time, women get more competitive with each other. I guess as far as hormonal side effects go, this one's not bad. I mean, it's not depression and despondency. It's not impulsivity. It's just wanting to be better at stuff than other women. If it didn't put me squarely in the crosshairs of pregnancy, I'd wish I was ovulating all the time!


The research comes from the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Minnesota, and found that women get more *~rUtHlEsS*~ with each other when there's an egg rolling down the chute.

The researchers conducted three studies, one of which had ovulating and non-ovulating women play the "dictator game."

In this popular economic experiment, a person is given a fixed amount of money that she can choose to share with another person.

"We found that ovulating women were much less willing to share when the other person was another woman. They became meaner to other women," said Kristina Durante, lead author of the study.

Whereas non-ovulating women shared about 50 per cent of the money with another woman, ovulating women shared only half as much, keeping the rest of the cash for themselves.

Meanwhile, ovulating women, busy high heel stepping on each other like delirious shoppers at a Black Friday doorbuster sale, are nicer to men. Because during ovulation, what women really want is to be pumped full of babies.

The good news, for those of us who are terrified that they might be doing some of that unfeminine "competing" our mothers warned us about, is that hormonal contraception prevents ovulation and thus ostensibly heads competing off at the pass. Because women should be friends who have sleepovers and pillow fights and hair braiding parties and baby showers. Always. Anything less is simply not *ladylike.*

But if you must ovulate and risk being driven to stomp all over other ladies, take comfort in the fact that behavioral effects of lady hormones are much more desirable than behavioral effects of man hormones. I'd rather be hyper driven to beat a fellow female commuter up the train station stairs than punch concrete walls after missing layups or wake up one morning feeling compelled to invade Poland.

Point here is: every person, male, female, or some combination thereof, is somewhat at the mercy of some hormonal forces that push behavior one way or another, sometimes in less-than-desirable directions. Gender equality means acknowledging that hormones probably make everyone a little nuts sometimes. Not just women.


Image via Shutterstock



Someone tried to tell me the other day that "Estrogen makes women like pink."

And no, this wasn't the time I got in my time machine and traveled back to 1865.