Kelly D. Cobey, Jan Havlíček, Katerina Klapilová and S. Craig Roberts (2015)
Women who are regularly cycling exhibit different partner preferences than those who use hormonal contraception. Preliminary evidence appears to suggest that during pregnancy women’s partner preferences also diverge from those prevalent while regularly cycling. This is consistent with the general assertion that women’s mate preferences are impacted by hormonal variation. During pregnancy women’s preferences are thought to closely resemble those displayed by women who are using hormonal contraception. Here, based on this literature, we compare levels of sexual desire among pregnant women who met their partner while using hormonal contraception and pregnant women who met their partner while regularly cycling. We predicted that women who met their partner while using hormonal contraception would experience higher levels of in-pair sexual desire during pregnancy since these women will have partner preferences that more closely match those prevalent at the time of their partner choice. Our results provide support for the idea that previous contraceptive use/non-use may impact subsequent sexual desire for the partner during pregnancy. Pregnant women who met their partner while using hormonal contraception were shown to have higher levels of in-pair sexual desire than those who met while regularly cycling. In contrast, levels of extra-pair desire were not related to previous use/non-use of hormonal contraception. These findings were robust when controlling for a number of relevant individual difference variables known to impact sexual desire. Our results thus provide a more fine grained understanding of factors affecting relationship functioning during pregnancy.