Could Your Birth Control Really Decide Who You Date?

BC-embed
Ladies, it's time for some real talk. According to a new study published earlier this month in Psychoneuroendocrinology — which we clearly read daily — women using the birth control pill prefer men with less-masculine faces, compared to non-users. As in, your birth control is indirectly dictating the kinds of men you're interested in and subsequently date. Wild? We know.
In the study, researchers showed a group of women (aged 18-24) images of young, male faces. The women could manipulate the images to their liking, focusing on cheekbone prominence, jaw height, and face width. Scientists also told the participants to alter the male faces so they were most attractive for either a short- or long-term relationship. Women who had been on the pill for three months or more chose men who had less-masculine features, with narrower jawbones and more rounded faces.
Advertisement
What does this all mean, exactly? Not a whole lot, if you'd ask us. The experiment wasn't double blind, and the subjects were just women on the pill, eliminating a large amount of women who use alternative methods of birth control, such as IUDs. Plus, "gendering" face-types, while inherently instinctual, feels slightly problematic. Just because a guy has high cheekbones doesn't mean you like him for it — or even that he's more "ready" for a relationship.
Of course, this is simply a preliminary study, but if further research proves similar points, will it change the national conversation on birth control rights? Over time, would a man's facial features evolve as more women use the pill? (Remember: This is a birth control method that hasn't even been around for a century. If a certain "looking" man was getting a leg up thanks to the pill, you'd think that those genes might become more prevalent.) Even if the study is right, what's the worst that could happen? A bunch of single, masculine guys roaming the streets? We're not too concerned. (Business Insider)
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Rex USA
Advertisement

More from Sex & Relationships

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.