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Title: Menstrual cycle phase does not predict political conservatism
Authors: Scott, IM
Pound, N
Keywords: Menstrual cycle;Conservatism;Women's fertility status;Political parties
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: PLoS One, 10(4): e0112042, (2015)
Abstract: Recent authors have reported a relationship between women's fertility status, as indexed by menstrual cycle phase, and conservatism in moral, social and political values. We conducted a survey to test for the existence of a relationship between menstrual cycle day and conservatism. 2213 women reporting regular menstrual cycles provided data about their political views. Of these women, 2208 provided information about their cycle date, 1260 provided additional evidence of reliability in self-reported cycle date, and of these, 750 also indicated an absence of hormonal disruptors such as recent hormonal contraception use, breastfeeding or pregnancy. Cycle day was used to estimate day-specific fertility rate (probability of conception); political conservatism was measured via direct self-report and via responses to the "Moral Foundations” questionnaire. We also recorded relationship status, which has been reported to interact with menstrual cycle phase in determining political preferences. We found no evidence of a relationship between estimated cyclical fertility changes and conservatism, and no evidence of an interaction between relationship status and cyclical fertility in determining political attitudes. Our findings were robust to multiple inclusion/exclusion criteria and to different methods of estimating fertility and measuring conservatism. In summary, the relationship between cycle-linked reproductive parameters and conservatism may be weaker or less reliable than previously thought.
ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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