A1 Journal article – refereed
A high-powered replication study finds no effect of starting or stopping hormonal contraceptive use on relationship quality

List of Authors: Patrick Jern, Antti Kärnä, Janna Hujanen, Tatu Erlin, Annika Gunst, Helmi Rautaheimo, Emilia Öhman, S. Craig Roberts, Brendan P. Zietsch
Publisher: Elsevier Inc.
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Evolution and Human Behavior
Journal name in source: Evolution and Human Behavior
Volume number: 39
Issue number: 4
Number of pages: 7
ISSN: 1090-5138
eISSN: 1879-0607


A number of recent studies have implicated that incongruent use of hormonal contraceptives (HCs) negatively affects various aspects of women's romantic relationships. It has been suggested that women with incongruent HC use (a discrepancy in HC use status between when they first met their current partner and the time of study participation) report less sexual satisfaction and higher jealousy scores compared to women with congruent HC use. A similar effect has also been hypothesized for general relationship satisfaction, and recent findings suggest that the association between HC incongruency and women's general relationship satisfaction is moderated by third-party ratings of facial attractiveness of the women's male partners. Using a large convenience sample (N = 948) of Finnish women, we attempted to replicate previously reported findings but found no support for the HC congruency hypothesis, despite excellent statistical power (≥98.7%) to detect previously reported effect sizes. Instead, after dividing our sample into four groups based on HC congruency/incongruency, we found that the largest differences in jealousy, sexual satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction scores tended to be found between women who were consistent HC users and consistent non-users (i.e., between women with different kinds of congruent HC use). We also detected a significant main effect of current HC use on jealousy. We conclude that HC congruency effects reported in previous studies may have spuriously arisen from unequal distributions of current HC users within congruent and incongruent HC user groups.

Internal Authors/Editors

Last updated on 2019-20-07 at 07:46