Female fertility affects male speech patterns

The more fertile a woman, the more effort a man will make with conversation

Couple at bar
Couple at bar
(Image credit: REX)

The more fertile a woman, the more effort a man will make with conversation

The amount of effort a man puts into conversation with a woman is proportional to her fertility, according to a new study.

Researchers from the Florida State University conducted a study into how male speech patterns varied when speaking to women at different stages in their menstrual cycle.

The study found that men tended to vary their sentence structure more when conversing with a woman who was more fertile.

The data surprised researchers as previous studies showed evidence that when men are attracted to women they are inclined tomirror their speech patterns.

Authors of the study, Jacqueline M. Coyle and Michael P. Kaschak, reported that men copied the sentence structure of women 12.3 per cent less at the high point, compared to the low point of their menstrual cycle.

‘Our data shows that the likelihood of men choosing the same syntactic structure as the women was inversely related to the women’s level of fertility – higher levels of fertility were associated with lower levels of linguistic matching,’ say Coyle and Kaschak.

Women, interestingly, don’t follow suit.

‘A follow-up study revealed that female participants do not show this same change in linguistic behaviour as a function of changes in their conversation partner’s fertility.’

Results suggest that men show off their conversational abilities in order to boost their credentials as potential partners.


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