Women on Birth Control Prefer Less Masculine Men

So, all us women know the standard trope of birth control complaints by now: weight gain, mood swings, headaches. A recent British study adds a more curious side effect to that list. The Pill causes women to see more feminine men as more attractive.

The women in the study were given a digital male face. They were able to change certain physical traits, like jaw height, cheek prominence and face width, to create their perfectly drop-dead-gorgeous man. During this round, none of the women were taking the Pill.

At the end of the first experiment, the scientists offered the women birth control. About a third of them started taking it.

Three months later, the women sat down to the same task: creating a perfect digital male face. This time, it was obvious who was on hormones and who wasn’t. The women who opted to take the Pill crafted men with more feminine features. They typically preferred narrower jaw bones and rounder faces.

Basically, women taking birth control are under the influence. The two common hormones in American pills, estrogen and progestin, play the part of a modern day Eros. They tinker with who we fall for.

If you started dating your boyfriend while you were on the Pill, how do you know your natural-state body finds him hot as well? Certainly, physical appearance is not the only trait that makes a person attractive. But we would be lying if we said it’s not an important factor.

So, to all you guys who have been called “feminine”: don’t take it as an insult. The women on birth control just may pick you over the hunky jock.

By Ashira Morris

Dropping the T: Transgender Rights in the Marriage Era

So DOMA has been called out for being doma-neering. As the Defense of Marriage Act is examined by the Supreme Court, a groundswell of people have “come out” in their support of gay marriage and equal rights for people who are lesbian, gay and bisexual.

However, the “T” in the alphabet soup of of L.G.B.T. is overlooked. (That’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender, by the way.) The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act offers protection for the L.G.B. population. But there is still no gender nondiscrimination act.

Sexuality and gender exist on two separate continuums. Gender ranges from male to female, with plenty of room in the middle. Sexual orientation exists between homosexual and heterosexual; that line is directly bisected by bisexual.

The largest study of transgender people, released in 2011, found that the community is constantly harassed and discriminated against. Ninety percent of the people surveyed reported mistreatment or harassment at work. Forty-one percent had contemplated suicide. Compare that to the 1.6 percent of the entire U.S. population.

The Human Rights Campaign (the organization behind all those red equality signs on Facebook) may be great at social media campaigning, but they still censor their image. The organization recently released an apology for asking a trans activist to remove a trans pride flag from behind the podium.

Earlier fights for sexual orientation rights have left gender equality in the shadows. As the debate over marriage equality continues, it remains to be seen if activists and the government will acknowledge the T.

By Ashira Morris