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Pre-menstrual women spot snakes better
Finally, a solution for hikers with a fear of snakes - pack a pre-menstrual friend. A new study out of Kyoto, Japan, reports that women in the pre-menstrual phase of their cycle can spot the slithery creatures faster.
This heightened sensory awareness is thought to be caused by fluctuating hormones. During the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle – the days immediately following ovulation – hormonal changes influence the amygdala, the area of the brain that impacts fear and anxiety. Apparently, that combined with higher levels of progesterone, known to increase anxiety, thereby giving women their super snake-spotting powers.
It’s believed that women’s “vigilance towards biologically relevant threatening stimuli” is a behavior designed to protect themselves during ovulation: Gotta keep those eggs safe. Here’s hoping they’ll find the evolutionary purpose of breast tenderness, bloating and irritability next.