Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Friday All day, Park Concourse
This project investigates the influence of lactation on female preferences for male voices and faces in urban Manila, a population with long-term breastfeeding, low contraceptive use, and quick return to cycling. From an evolutionary perspective, female ancestors were likely spending more time pregnant and lactating rather than ovulating. Moreover, a majority of conceptions in natural fertility societies occurred in lactating, ovulating women. These considerations suggest that lactating women face important life history allocation trade-offs between mating and parenting effort that may be manifested in their preferences for certain traits in a partner. Breastfeeding (n=68) and regularly cycling (n=66) women were recruited to complete a face and voice preference task to determine preferences for masculinity. All participants also completed a questionnaire that assessed sexual functioning, sociosexuality, and relationship satisfaction, along with demographic variables. Breastfeeding women significantly have a higher preference for high-pitched voices than regularly cycling women (t=2.43, p=.016). No differences were found between the two groups’ preferences for male faces. Further analyses incorporate sociosexuality, sexual functioning, and other variables. Life history strategies will be discussed and will serve as a framework for the findings.