Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Annals of Awesome:
Ovulating Strippers Make More Money

Hormone levels in (a) are for women not taking the pill; (b) is for women taking the pill. The spike in green represents a spike in Leutenizing Hormone (LH), which in turn causes an increase in androgens that heighten sexual desire around ovulation in normally cycling women. No LH surge, no increase in sex drive.

The big news story of the feminist blogs this morning is another article*, this time in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, providing more evidence that the pill is bad. We here at Go-To Girl HQ have access to the full texts of scholarly journals and Julie Sunday makes it a habit to always read the entire article that the bloggers are all jammed up about. The headliner finding of this article first appeared in the UK's Daily Mail and is this: women on the pill are attracted to more "boyish" features in men.

Women who are not on the pill lust after more "manly" guys during oestrus because they are (in theory, anyway) better sources of genetic material for reproduction. The "boyish" dudes make better husbands, which explains why women like them more the rest of the month, because you would want to have a guy like that around to change diapers, help with the laundry, and go feed the baby in the middle of the night.

This morning's coverage also provides further evidence to my theory that most bloggers and journalists** only read the abstracts of scholarly works, because this article presents something I've never heard before and that nobody picked up on in the news coverage:

strippers who are not taking the pill report an increase in lapdance revenue around ovulation whereas pill-taking strippers (who are thus not ovulating) do not see a spike in their revenue and earn less throughout the cycle. No, really.

The solid line represents dollars per shift earned by strippers not taking the pill; the dotted line is earnings by pill-using dancers.

The stripper finding is interesting because it supports previous research showing that men find women more attractive during oestrus than the rest of the cycle, and therefore women who are not ovulating at all because they're taking the pill are less attractive to men overall.

Snap! Just get a ParaGard already.

*Alvergne, Alexandra and Lummaa, Virpi. "Does the contraceptive pill alter mate choice in humans?" Trends in Ecology and Evolution. In press. (available in the 11/09 online edition, if you have access via a library)

**see Feministing's piece here and Feministe's here


Go-To Girl said...

this is from their conclusion, and is pretty mind-blowing IMHO: "The ultimate outstanding evolutionary question concerns whether the use of oral contraceptives when making mating decisions can have long-term consequences on the ability of couples to reproduce and the reproductive success of offspring. These questions have not received any attention to date. It is worthy of note that since the approval of the pill as a contraceptive method by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1960 and the subsequent rapid export, for example, to Canada (1961), Australia (1961) and Europe (West Germany, 1961, UK, 1961, France, 1967), the potential side-effects on a range of women's psychological attributes and behaviour have never been investigated by FDA or drug companies. Given the centrality of relationship satisfaction and offspring quality in the subjective well-being of women and mothers, drug companies marketing hormonal contraception should be encouraged to institute large-scale clinical trials investigating behavioural and psychological side-effects potentially associated with oral contraceptives, and any possible maladaptive side-effects of pill use on mate choice, attractiveness, relationship satisfaction, divorce probability and offspring health." emphasis mine.

Sara said...

Thanks for bringing this study to my attention. Great post. The stripper thing is an interesting tidbit, but I'm more interested in the quotation you provide from their conclusion. I think that hormonal birth control is pushed on MOST young women (and really, I mean girls), both as a contraceptive and method of controlling acne. Get some flipping prescription CREAM. Hormones? FOR ACNE? It's maddening, especially because a lot of young women don't understand the consequences of plying your body with hormones, and then they STAY on the pill for YEARS because it is what they are used to. Personally, I'd love to see more research on long-term psychological affects of the pill. [ps. Go team Paragard!]

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