Does the birth control pill make women more jealous?

Women who use hormonal contraceptives have been shown to report higher levels of jealousy than women who are regularly cycling. Here, we extend these findings by examining if self reported levels of jealousy vary with the dose of synthetic estrogen and progestin found in combined oral contraceptives in a sample of 275 women. A univariate ANOVA analysis revealed that higher levels of ethinyl estradiol were associated with significantly higher levels of self-reported jealousy. There was, however, no relationship between combined oral contraceptive progestin dose and reported jealousy levels. When controlling for age, relationship status, mood, and combined oral contraceptive progestin dose the results for ethinyl estradiol were maintained. A test for the interaction between the jealousy sub-scale items (reactive, possessive, and anxious jealousy) was however non-significant: ethinyl estradiol dose thus does not affect one type of jealousy more than another but rather affects overall jealousy. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of their evolutionary consequences on mate choice and relationship dynamics.

Source: “Hormonal birth control use and relationship jealousy: Evidence for estrogen dosage effects” from Personality and Individual Differences

Malcolm Gladwell has an interesting piece about the pill here. And I also recommend Gladwell’s books “Blink” and “Outliers“.

Is the birth control pill the reason so few men are graduating from college?

How do birth control pills alter a woman’s choice in men?

What happens when the government subsidizes the pill for teenage girls?

Is there already a safe, effective, reversible male hormonal contraceptive available?

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