It’s a common misconception that women who choose not to take hormonal birth control have boring sex lives due to the fear of pregnancy. In actuality, with so many alternative contraceptive methods available, this is simply not the case. However, a 2011 study revealed that things may actually be the other way around, and that taking hormonal birth control can lead women to choose boring lovers as partners.
In the study, which was published in the October 12, 2011 edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers surveyed 2,5000 heterosexual women who had one child, and asked them questions about the child’s biological father. Approximately 1,000 participants were taking hormonal birth control, while the other 1,500 were not using hormonal contraception. The results showed that women who were taking hormonal birth control were less sexually satisfied overall. They found their lovers less attractive and were generally more likely to initiate a separation.
The researchers developed a theory on why this might be true. Other studies have shown clearly that a woman’s hormones fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, and these fluctuations actually impact the way women react to men as candidates for dating and mating. The closer a woman is to ovulation, the more drawn she is to masculine men. However, women on hormonal birth control do not experience these hormone fluctuations throughout the month, and are therefore more likely to be drawn to factors such a person’s financial stability, rather than to their raw physical attractiveness.
However, the results were not entirely negative. The researchers found that women on hormonal birth control found their partner to have excellent paternal traits, such as being caring and reliable. They also found their relationships lasted two years longer on average.