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Gait and Menstrual Cycle: Ovulating Women Use Sexier Gaits and Walk Slowly Ahead of Men

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Kevin Kirby, May 3, 2012.

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    An interesting research article was just published which studied the speed at which women walked relative to their menstrual cycle (Guegen N: Gait and menstrual cycle: Ovulating women use sexier gaits and walk slowly ahead of men. Gait and Posture, 35:621-624, 2012.) 206 women between the ages of 18 and 22, volunteered to take part in the study. The women were introduced to an "attractive" male confederate in a laboratory setting and asked to walk to another destination down a 18 m long hallway while the "attractive" man walked behind them. During their walk down the hallway, the women were videotaped and also had the duration of their 18 m walk timed. At the end of their walk, the subjects salivary luteinizing hormone levels were assessed to determine if the women were near ovulation. Also, videos of the women walking were viewed by two male coders who were asked to subjectively assess the sexual attractiveness of each subject’s gait.

    Results from the study showed that fertility probability was the main effect on time spent walking down the hallway (p=.002). In addition, women's gait was subjectively perceived to be significantly "sexier" when their fertility risk was higher (p=.02).

    In summary, the study found that women near ovulation spent more time walking down ahead of a male confederate and their gaits were perceived to be "sexier" when evaluated by males. The researchers felt that "such results confirm that subtle behavioral cues are influenced by the menstrual cycle".
  2. duplicate post- delete
  3. Kind of makes sense if you think about it from a "selfish gene" perspective- you want to breed with someone "fit", hence a limp would not be viewed as sexually attractive. I guess sexy is in the eye of the beholder though and with only two males making the judgement on the gait.... this is the kind of study which would be great as an online vote- show a number of gaits and let the males (and females) decide how sexy they are.

    Would be interesting to look at the kinematic differences in gait within subjects at distinct stages during their cycle.
  4. The study is a fascinating one and certainly makes one consider that the way that women walk may change depending on where they are within their cycle. They specifically only used women for the study who were single, heterosexual and not in any committed relationship since they felt that women in relationships would not show gait changes depending on their cycle. Honestly, I had never considered this as a factor affecting gait speed. Just makes one realize how little we do know about all the factors that affect the biomechanics of gait in the bipedal human.
  5. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    There is certainly evidence in the literature to support two other but related bit of interest. Firstly, women are more desirous of sexualy intercourse at about days 12-16 of their cycle - supports the above findings. Also interesting, but more controversial, is that there is clear evidence that the "mate" women choose to live with - ie their spouse, is not necessarily the one they choose to be the father of their off-spring. Actually, this is supported in studies of other animals, mammals and non-mammals. Further, patterns of sexual dimorphism (though VERY complex), in hominoids, including humans, suggest an alpha male situation. Difficult to come to terms with, I know. Rob
  6. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    'A sexy swing of the hips may attract admiring glances, but it is not a covert sign a woman is ready to breed, according to researchers.

    A Queen's University, Ontario, team examined volunteers' walks and the levels of sex hormones in their saliva.

    They found those with alluring walks were the furthest away from ovulation'.



  7. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Hmmm... & there was me thinking of a weak Gluteus Medius :eek:
  8. Romeu Araujo

    Romeu Araujo Active Member

    Really fascinating. Does anyone have the full article?

  9. musmed

    musmed Active Member

    Hi all
    Funny how the wheel is reinvented.

    The great late Vladamir Janda used to lecture on this and prepubescent girl athletes who developed reduced performance due to the action of oestrogens on the strength of gluteus medius muscle.
    The effects are the female athlete runs slower and often gives up her sport due to this.
    The sexual effect is when the gluteus medius is acting weakly due to oestrogens they 'slink' off their ilio femoral ligs as in cat walk modelling.
    The aim is to tell George that Mertle is fertile!

    He lectured on this topic in the 1980's. Still got the notes and was lecturing on this point only yesterday!

    to all
    Paul Conneely
  10. SarahR

    SarahR Active Member

    Women have also been found to tend to wear higher heels and shorter skirts while fertile. Similar behavior is seen in some feetile female animals; getting up on their toes and "presenting" their behinds as a signal that they are ready to be mounted.
    I took a minor in psychology in undergrad, and mostly picked evolutionary psych which was basically all about sex and mate choice. :) there is a song about being "nothing but mammals"...
    It certainly brings a new perspective to one's dating life. I don't take "the pill" as it throws off one's ability to determine genetic compatibility and will never again look for a suitable mate with a case of sinusitis again!! Yikes... Had to break up with smelly when I fixed my sniffer.
  11. NeedingMassage

    NeedingMassage Active Member

    Yep, more than just bones and soft tissues with mechanical joints and movements.
    "While the structural approach is necessary and valuable for acute injury or exacerbation, the functional approach is preferable when addressing chronic musculoskeletal pain" from http://www.jandaapproach.com/the-janda-approach/philosophy/ (for massage 101 concepts).
  12. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Yep, I knew the Gluteus Medius had a role to play on this issue. After all, the hormones, neurochemicals/neurotransmitters do play other physiological roles/effect on the human body... particularly in relation to the wonderment surrounding fertility & reproduction...

    ... & this topic should not invoke the bankrupt conjecture of evolution!

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