Women on Pill Choose the 'Wrong' Man

Oral contraceptives twists choice based on smell
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2008 3:55 AM CDT
New research shows the contraceptive pill may disrupt women's innate ability to choose genetically suitable partners.   (Archive Photos)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The pill skews women's choice of partners because the contraceptive disrupts the sense of smell, according to new research. Women usually seek partners who have an odor that indicates dissimilar genes. That's important because a gene mix tends to produce healthier offspring. But research shows women using the pill tend to choose men with the wrong genetic mix, reports the Daily Telegraph.

"The results showed the preferences of women using the contraceptive pill shifted toward men with genetically similar odors," said a researcher. "It could ultimately lead to the breakdown of relationships when women stop using the contraceptive pill, as odor perception plays a significant role in maintaining attraction to partners."