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versión On-line ISSN 1668-7027


MUNOZ-REYES, José Antonio et al. Differences in mating behavior among university young women of Santiago de Chile in relation to the consumption of oral contraceptive pills. Interdisciplinaria [online]. 2017, vol.34, n.2, pp.351-368. ISSN 1668-7027.

Oral contraceptives, also known as birth control pills (PAs from now on), have been available on the world market for five decades. At present, the use of PA is massifier worldwide, being consumed by more than 100 million women on the planet. In recent years, in Latin America has been detected a dramatic increase in the use of oral contraceptives, and Chile is not the exception. In this sense, it is probable that the increase in the consumption of PAs in Chile is linked to the increase of women who decide to pursue higher studies and to develop professional careers. Concurrently, a wide field of research has been focused on the physiological and psychological effect of the consumption of oral contraceptives on human behavior, being mating behavior one of the main topics of research. However, in Chile as in most Latin American countries there is a lack of studies on the implications of the consumption of oral contraceptives on human behavior. In the present study, we investigated in a group of 164 university young women (Mean ± Standard Deviation: 19.27± 2.88 years) of Chile the impact of the use of oral contraceptives on mating behavior. Accordingly, we have applied a validated psychometric test to assessed mate value, one of the more relevant components of mating behavior i.e., the Mate Value Questionnaire. Mate value can be defined as a construct that incorporates a number of physical, psychological, and social dimensions that are related to an individual's ability to find, attract, and successfully retain a partner. This questionnaire is composed by 22 items and 7 subscales that are answered in a Likert Scale of 7 values. The Mate Value Questionnaire showed a high reliability (α = .85). According with previous studies that showed a decrease in sexual satisfaction and desire on women that consume oral contraceptives, we predicted a decrease of mating behavior and, then, a decrease on Mate Value for those women that use oral contraceptives. This effect was expected for all subscales of this questionnaire with the exception of relationship history subscale since women that consume oral contraceptives reported to have more diverse sexual partners on previous studies. The results show differences between women who use oral contraceptives (n = 87 women: 19.60 ± 2.89 years) in comparison to those who do not (n = women: 18.90 ± 2.84 years). However, the differences were, in general, opposed to our expectations being the consumers of oral contraceptives who presented the highest values of the general index of the Mate Value Questionnaire, and, concretely, for the subscales of relationship history, views of the opposite sex, and looks. In addition, we have failed into found any differences between groups in subscales that were not associated to physical appearance, such as wealth, sociality and fear of failure. The results suggest that the use of hormonal contraceptives does not modify the social and parental behavior of the women, although their use seems to be associated with a greater self-perception of attractiveness and greater diversity in sexual life. This study provides new information that will increase the understanding and discussion about the hypothetical effect that would or would not, the consumption of the PA on the pairing behavior. It is important to point out that the field of research on changes in the sexual preferences of women, derived from hormonal states, is in an important discussion process. Therefore, we believe that it is critical to carry out research in the future in order to elucidate the real robustness of this phenomenon, improving our understanding about the behavioral effects of consuming oral contraceptives.

Palabras clave : Oral contraceptives; Mate value; Young women; Chilean population; Mating behavior.

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