Hormonal birth control use and relationship jealousy: Evidence for estrogen dosage effects
Kelly D Cobey et al.; 2011
Women who use hormonal contraceptives have been shown to report higher levels of jealousy than women who are regularly cycling. Here, we extend these ﬁndings by examining if self reported levels of jealousy vary with the dose of synthetic estrogen and progestin found in combined oral contraceptives in a sample of 275 women. A univariate ANOVA analysis revealed that higher levels of ethinyl estradiol were associated with signiﬁcantly higher levels of self-reported jealousy. There was, however, no relationship between combined oral contraceptive progestin dose and reported jealousy levels. When controlling for age, relationship status, mood, and combined oral contraceptive progestin dose the results for ethinyl estradiol were maintained. A test for the interaction between the jealousy sub-scale items (reactive, possessive, and anxious jealousy) was however non-signiﬁcant: ethinyl estradiol dose thus does not affect one type of jealousy more than another but rather affects overall jealousy. The implications of these ﬁndings are discussed in the context of their evolutionary consequences on mate choice and relationship dynamics.