Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology


Psychological Science


Makhanova, Anastasia

Committee Member/Reader

Brown, Mitch

Committee Member/Second Reader

Diaz Gonzalez, Delmy J.

Committee Member/Third Reader

Potra, Adriana


Millions of women use hormonal contraceptives around the world and though the physical side effects are thoroughly described in the literature and clinical setting, the psychological effects have been largely ignored until recently. Recent studies have found that the use of hormonal contraceptives has an effect on women’s hormones and psychological well-being. The goal of the present research was to expand the current knowledge of the effect of hormonal contraceptives on women’s hormones and social behavior by examining how women with differing levels of progesterone due to menstrual cycle fluctuations (follicular or luteal phase) or using hormonal contraceptives (birth control pill or intrauterine device; IUD) may affect who they categorize into their ingroup or outgroup after undergoing a stressor. Though there was generally no support for my hypotheses, in exploratory analyses we found that White women in the luteal phase or that have a hormonal IUD were significantly less likely to categorize Black targets as outgroup members relative to participants in the follicular phase or that take birth control pills. This finding was specific to Black targets and not the other minority targets (Asian and Latino). We also examined changes in progesterone from before and after the stressor to investigate how the progesterone stress response may be different among the four groups of women. Although we did not find predicted effects with the current sample, this project nevertheless advances the understanding of how women’s psychology and physiology are affected by hormonal contraceptive use.


hormonal contraceptives, progesterone, affiliative bias