This report on research in Britain has been circulating the past few days, generating comment. It seems that going on the Pill can cause women to be attracted to less suitable men. Before we discuss the implications if it's true, lets start with some reasons to be skeptical. The actual research involved women smelling t-shirts worn in bed by different men.
Well, there's your first problem right there. Women signing up for shirt-smelling research may not be entirely representative of the general female population, eh? But let's pretend they worked around that somehow, and have found an intriguing lead that does generalise to the population as a whole. The upshot is that women on oral contraceptives are more attracted to men whose hormonal profile is more like theirs in a narrow area. This is bad, it seems, or at least not the way things used to be.
You will notice we are not anywhere near a study which measures mate happiness rates of Pill-using teens, newlyweds, and matrons versus the happiness rates of their sisters who use other contraception or none.
This is a plausible explanation, but we haven't nailed it down as fact.
Pretend it is. Pretend that messing with hormones in a Yasmin/Ortho-Novum sort of way causes women to go completely against their interests and latch passionately onto Unsuitable Attachments, or at a minimum, a different guy than they would have found otherwise.
Which is worse - to marry the wrong one or to go on the pill and lose interest in the right one after you've married him?