Gait As Bait, Women Walk Sexy During High Sexual Receptivity
Christopher Philip

Is she ovulating?

Is she ovulating?

In previous research it has been shown that women, during the peak of their ovulation, will show various signs and signals of higher receptivity. These are considered to be involuntary and a natural result of the hormones released by her body.
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Ovulation, while generally “hidden” – referred to in science as “concealed ovulation” is signaled nonverbally in a variety of ways. Women in their high fertility phase usually have a higher pitch in voice, will smell better, and appear more flushed than at other times in her menstrual cycle. She will also tend to wear more revealing or tighter clothing and show more skin, use more make-up and other products aimed at increasing physical attractiveness. She will also act more sexy while simultaneously lowering her guard to the solicitation of men. Women also tend to mimic or mirror men around them and their pupils will tend to dilate more.

During peak fertility women will use more gestures such as head nodding, leaning forward, self touching, hair flipping and hair tossing. These changes are not apparent in her luteal days (non-ovulating). It has also been found that symmetry between the left and right side of her body also increasing during ovulation. This has been found in the fingers, ears and breasts. The colour of a woman’s face also becomes lighter.

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If you’re curious about signals given off by men, the researchers note in the paper that men tend to use laughter, higher voice levels, and direct verbal contact to signal interest.

Like other animals, it seems that women are also gripped by the urge to mate. The hormones of women drive them to experience a sexual heat, or estrus. Perhaps it is not as pronounced as some mammals, but given the cycle repeats every month and year-round, it is not as vital that breeding takes place with urgency. This is probably why we see a more muted “rut.”

Certainly, women are not broadcasting their ovulation with bright red swollen genitals as other primates do. It has been suggested that women hide their ovulation to keep men guessing and raise the stakes to solicit a greater pre-sex investment which serves as a predictor to post-sex investment. This, she figures, is a good way to tell if he’ll stick around long enough to help raise the children.

The original tenant of ovulation in humans was that it was essentially hidden. However, new research is uncovering an increasing number of cues indicating fertility.

In his study, French researcher Nicolas Guéguen set out to discover if women had a sexier “gait,” or walking-style during ovulation. This was an, as-yet un-researched element to revealing fertility.

Guéguen devised a clever study that involved analysis of 103 women for their gate. He originally pooled 206 women, but had to reduce his sample. First, he eliminated those taking oral contraceptives as the menstrual cycle of women on “the pill” do not follow traditional menstrual cycles instead relying on artificial hormones estrogen and progesterone to prevent ovulation. He also excluded those who were romantically involved as previous studies have shown that mimicry is much reduced when women are already involved in a committed relationship. The final group to be omitted included those who were homosexual – for obvious reasons.

First, Guéguen had female subjects arrive by themselves. He had them sit in a waiting area explaining that he needed to wait for another participant to the study. After two minutes, an attractive male actor was introduced to the female subject where he too waited. The male confederate was instructed by Guéguen to smile, introduce himself and carry on a benign conversation on maters such as school and leisure.

After another two minutes had elapsed, the experimenter returned and asked the female subject and the male confederate to make their way to the laboratory along a long narrow hallway. Before leaving, the experimenter told the pair that he had to make another “urgent phone call” and instructed the pair to make their way to the “red door on the left just after the bathroom.” He then added, “I’ll be there in one or two minutes. Wait for me at the door.”

The male confederate was instructed to walk roughly one meter behind the female subject until they reached the door. As she began walking, he turned on a spy camera hidden in his coat button to capture the sexiness of her gait and the length of time it took her to make the trip. After reaching the room, the experimenter asked the woman for a sample of her saliva which was to be tested later for her Luteinizing Hormone. LH measures the probability of fertility. The subject was then debriefed and asked for consent to use the video and her saliva samples.

Guéguen analyzed the results by measuring the length of time it took to walk down the 18-meter long hallway. He indeed found a correlation between the length of time spent walking and the probability of being in the high fertility phase of ovulation. Next, he wanted to measure the perceived sexiness of the gait. To do so he had two male judges rate the walk on a scale from 1-5. Again, he found that women were rated to have a sexier gate when they were more fertile. According to Guéguen “Our experiment confirms previous studies that found women near ovulation acted in such a way so as to appear sexier and attractive for men.”

While women might have lost the more overt cues of sexual receptivity, they do still retain a myriad of other more subtle forms of signaling. Nonverbal behaviours tend to be the go-to for women who wish to solicit male attention. “Women may have spent more time walking down the hallway because they wanted to be noticed by the confederate,” says Guéguen. While ovulation is generally unnoticed, it still presents itself in various forms.
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The takeaway message however, is that while not totally concealed, ovulation and high receptivity, it is at best silent — only the most astute and conscientious observers are likely to catch it.

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Resources

Guéguen N. Gait and menstrual cycle: ovulating women use sexier gaits and walk slowly ahead of men. Gait Posture. 2012; 35(4): 621-4.

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