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Should we really blame the pill for poor choices in partners?

By : Abbie | Published : Friday March 30, 2012 | Posted in : Women's Health | Comments (1)
deciding woman

We all have different tastes and preferences that influence why we find our partners attractive, but a recent study by researchers from Stirling University has shown that these individual preferences may be influenced by whether or not we are taking the pill. However, is it really worth changing your choice of contraception?

The pill is one of the most widely used contraceptive methods, providing millions of women with convenient and reliable protection against pregnancy. However there is some research that suggests that the pill can influence how our brain works, like for example that study a couple of months ago suggesting that women tend to think more like men when they are on the pill. But more recently, a similar study has revealed that the pill could be influencing how we see our partners.

According to the researchers, they looked at 2500 women and those who were on the pill were more likely to be dissatisfied with their sex life and would choose partners who weren’t really considered to be ‘dad’ material. According to the article in The Telegraph, these women were also more likely to seek sexual satisfaction elsewhere. The scientists therefore concluded that women who weren’t on the pill were better at choosing long term partners rather than men who tended to be more ‘masculine’ or ‘dominant’. Ironically though, women who were on the pill were more likely to be happy with the non-sexual aspects of their relationship.

But before we stop taking the pill to ensure that we up our chances to meet someone that’s more likely to be ‘dad’ material, I think there is more to take into account than hormones when you are choosing a partner. It’s not like all potential partners walk around with a placard around their necks announcing that they are a cad, sometimes it’s a little more subtle than that. It is also possible that the women who took the pill during the course of the study may have had different life ideals, which isn’t mentioned in the article. Plus we all know that some pills can influence your sex drive, which I assume is being implied by the fact that women were more likely to look for ‘sexual satisfaction elsewhere’, but that’s why there are 30 different variants available, so that you have the option of choosing one that doesn’t affect your libido.

Yes, the study may have shown that women who use an oral contraceptive such as the pill don’t choose the best long term partners, but I still think that it’s simply a question of coincidence, as there is no sure way of knowing whether a relationship will work out or not. We should also maybe consider whether women on the pill, may not have felt that they were in a position to want children yet, whereas women who weren’t using the pill might have been in a different position in their lives where they felt that they were ready to commit and therefore more intent on looking for a partner for life.

If the pill is really that likely to influence important life decisions as the study suggests it is, I’d first like to see further research. I just think studies like these suggest that we aren’t in control of our bodies and our minds, which is hardly the case.

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