Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

How a Woman’s Fertility Affects Men’s Speech

By Magdeline Lum

Men become more creative in their conversations when they detect subtle signals that a woman is fertile.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Romantic candlelit dinners for two and couples embracing in parks seem ideal from afar, but what we can’t hear is the stumbling of phrases during declarations of love. What can be more frustrating than to sound like a bumbling fool instead of appearing suave and debonair? It may be wiser to keep things simple but this is easier said than done.

A study led by A/Prof Michael Kaschak of Florida State University in Tallahassee has found that when young heterosexual men are around fertile women they are more likely to be creative with their sentence structure. The study states that men are responding to small changes in facial skin tone, vocal pitch and the scent of women in the fertile period of their menstrual cycles.

When two people talk to one another they usually mirror each other in the way they speak to each other, but what researchers found in the study, published in PLoS One, was that men speaking with fertile women spoke differently and were more likely to stand out.

One experiment studied 123 male undergraduate university students from Florida State University interacting with five female undergraduate students who were not taking hormonal contraceptives during different times of their menstrual cycles. Each male student was allowed to interact with a female student to enable some familiarity with each other before commencing set tasks. The female...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.