Female sexual orientation and menstrual influences on person perception

Katherine Brinsmead-Stockham, Lucy Johnston, Lynden Miles, C. Neil Macrae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Heterosexual women have previously been shown to display enhanced sensitivity to information that is both reproductively- and sexually-relevant (e.g., sexually mature male faces) during phases of high fertility. In the present study, homosexual women who maintained a regular menstrual cycle and did not use hormonal contraceptives completed a sex-categorization task at periods of high and low fertility within their menstrual cycle. For homosexual women there is a separation between reproductively-relevant (i.e., sexually mature males) and sexually-relevant (i.e., sexually mature females) targets. Our participants showed enhanced sensitivity to sexually-relevant information (i.e., female faces) at high fertility but showed no fluctuation in sensitivity to reproductively-relevant information (i.e., male faces) across testing sessions. These findings are considered in terms of adaptive person perception and the impact of sexual desire on mate preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-734
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Female sexual orientation and menstrual influences on person perception'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this