Pill changes partner choice and relationship

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The choice of partner and quality of relationship is significantly influenced by the pill

The hormonal pill has a major influence on female partner choice. This is the conclusion reached by British researchers from the University of Stirling in a comprehensive study of partner choice and the relationships of women who use contraception.

In the run-up to the current study, numerous researchers were convinced that taking the pill had a significant impact on partner selection and the quality of the relationships. Because of the simulated pregnancy state, which is triggered by the hormones ingested and is used for contraception, women who take the pill tend to choose their partners as men who they can easily imagine as fathers. However, these are usually not the particularly dominant and sexually active men, but rather the classic father figures, the researchers at the University of Stirling report.

As part of their investigation, the scientists not only analyzed the choice of partner, but also the quality of the relationship, including sexual activity, of a total of around 2,519 women with at least one child. The researchers interviewed the 1,005 participants who took the pill and the 1,514 who did not use contraception to find out what impact the contraceptive actually has on the partnership. The astonishing result: the pill-takers were less sexually active in their partnership, but felt more secure and had on average significantly longer relationships. The partnerships with the fathers of their children lasted on average 24 months longer than among the study participants who did not use hormonal contraception (84 months versus 60 months).

Although experts have long assumed that taking the pill has a significant impact on partner selection and the quality of the relationship, the British researchers' approach to check this using surveys on the quality of the partnership is new. On the other hand, the fact that women who use the pill to prevent long-term relationships but have worse sex corresponds to the basic expectations. Because by taking the hormones, those affected suggest an existing pregnancy to their body to prevent ovulation. To put it simply, the interest in sex decreases and the need for a reliable partner and good father grows. The classic father figures are therefore chosen as partners rather than the sexually active, more dominant men. Because the latter are generally not reliable, trustworthy potential dads, report the British scientists. In the long term, taking the pill goes hand in hand with a significantly different behavior when choosing a partner and a different quality of relationship.

Current research is consistent with the reports of numerous women who complain about a decrease in libido after taking the pill and who therefore have little need for sexual activity during their partnership. However, it was not previously known that the women concerned also choose sexually less active men when choosing a partner. (fp)

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