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Distribution of Coitus in the Menstrual Cycle


PERIODICITY is characteristic of the sexual behaviour of lower mammals. In animals with oestrous patterns, the female will accept the male only when she is “in heat”, a condition relating temporally to ovulation and the presence of certain gonadal hormones. Primates are different; apes and most monkeys, like humans, have menstrual cycles, and mate at all times during the cycle. Laboratory studies of several species of primates, however, show a periodicity of sexual behaviour within the menstrual rhythm with increased sexual behaviour occurring at mid-cycle when ovulation is believed to occur1.

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UDRY, J., MORRIS, N. Distribution of Coitus in the Menstrual Cycle. Nature 220, 593–596 (1968).

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