Masters Thesis

Male Mate Retention and Sexual Jealousy Across the Ovulatory Cycle

Previous research has documented that human females report a number of preference changes for sexual partners and sexual activity during the high- relative to low-fertility days of the ovulatory cycle. Less studied, however, are the effects of female fertility on their male partner’s perceptions, desires, and behaviors. the present work was designed to examine women’s reports of their partner’s mate retention tactics and sexual jealousy, as well as men’s self-reports of these behaviors, to determine predictable patterns in association between these behaviors and their partner’s cycle phase. in this study, 25 heterosexual couples (Mage = 22.9) participated. Each received a questionnaire containing measures to assess self- and partner-ratings of mate retention behaviors and sexual jealousy at high and low-fertility phases of the ovulatory cycle. It was hypothesized that (1) males in pair-bonded relationships should display changes in behavior that are contingent on the ovulatory phase of their partner’s menstrual cycle, specifically that (1a) males would employ more mate retention tactics during the high-fertility phase, (1b) males would report more sexual jealousy during high-fertility, and (2) these behavioral changes would be moderated by ratings of individual physical attractiveness.

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