Ovulating girls have more sexual fantasies: study
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Women experience more sexual fantasies during fertile periods of the month, a new study has revealed.
The research is one of many studies finding differences in women's sexual interest across the menstrual cycle.
For example, a 2007 study found that around ovulation, when pregnancy is possible, women say they prefer macho, masculine guys.
An April 2011 study even suggested that women who are in the more fertile phase of the month are more likely to see Georgia O'Keeffe's suggestive paintings as erotic.
The new study finds that sexual fantasies increase, and lead to more arousal in women, during fertile periods. Women also reported a higher proportion of men in their fantasies during fertile times of the month.
"When it mattered most, women were fantasizing more about men," said study author Samantha Dawson, a graduate researcher at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.
Dawson and her colleagues focused on fantasies because such sexual daydreams aren't dependent on the availability of sex partners or other outside forces.
That means fantasies may be more representative of sexual interest than how much real-life sex a woman has, Dawson told LiveScience.
The researchers paid 27 single heterosexual women, mostly college students, to keep a daily online diary of their sexual fantasies for one month. None of the women were on hormonal birth control.
By counting back from the last menstrual period, the researchers targeted a 10-day window in which each woman would likely ovulate.
During those 10 days, each woman took a do-it-yourself urine test to detect ovulation, much like the fertility tests available at drug stores. The tests were in neutral packaging, and women weren't told that they being tested for ovulation.
The women in the study reported, on average, 0.77 sexual fantasies a day - - much higher than earlier work, which had suggested that men fantasize about once per day and women only once a week.