Creativity and the time of the month

Lifehacker has picked up on German studies that suggests firstly that women tend to be creative around their menstruation cycle – and secondly that so do the men nearby.

During the preovulatory phase, creativity was in general improved when serum concentrations of estrogen (E2) and luteinizing hormone (LH) were highest whereas motor perseveration decreased. In control women, there was no preovulatory improvement of divergent thinking and no preovulatory decrease in motor perseveration.


A new study suggests that when young men interact with a woman who is in the fertile period of her menstrual cycle, they pick up on subtle changes in her skin tone, voice, and scent – usually subconsciously – and respond by changing their speech patterns.

Specifically, they become less likely to mimic the woman’s sentence structure. According to the researchers, this unintentional shift in language may serve to telegraph the man’s creativity and nonconformity – qualities that are believed to attract potential mates.

Both quotes reported in How Ovulation Affects Your Creativity (Even if You’re a Guy) –

Frankly, any time anyone says anything is down to a woman’s time of the month, I cringe. But if this is true – and do read the whole Lifehacker piece for more – then it’s also a bit depressing.

It suggests that people’s creativity is not theirs, it’s somehow tied to our body chemistry. It also suggests that we are stuffed after menopause.


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