A marketing professor in San Antonio last fall created an outcry for a survey linking women's voting preferences to ovulation, and she's back at it again.

Kristina Durante, who conducts social and behavioral research drawing on evolutionary psychology at the University of Texas, initially shared her results with CNN, which pulled their story after drawing harsh criticism from the public. As planned, Durante published the study April 23 in the peer-reviewed journal Psychological Science.

Durante surveyed several hundred women during last year's U.S. presidential campaign, concluding that single women during ovulation "feel sexier" and tend to vote more liberal than women who are married or in committed relationships.

Previous research shows a connection between a woman's ovulatory cycle and her mating preferences, with ovulating women — in two large and diverse studies — ending to choose men for genetic rather than financial fitness. Building on that theory, Durante and her team suggested that political and religious orientation, often seen in presidential voting, would correlate to reproductive goals.

"Ovulation led single women to become more liberal, less religious, and more likely to vote for Barack Obama," Durante wrote. "In contrast, ovulation led women in committed relationships to become more conservative, more religious, and more likely to vote for Mitt Romney."

Durante said "ovulation-induced changes in political orientation" directly influenced voting behavior, but that the effect appeared different in women based on marital and relationship status.

CNN's reported the survey results in late October, just days before President Barack Obama was reelected over former Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican from Massachusetts. "While the campaigns eagerly pursue female voters, there's something that may raise the chances for both presidential candidates that's totally out of their control: women's ovulation cycles," wrote CNN reporter Elizabeth Landau. "Please continue reading with caution. Although the study will be published in the peer-reviewed journal Psychological Science, several political scientists who read the study have expressed skepticism about its conclusions."

Jason Linkins, of the Huffington Post, also expressed skepticism from the realm of political science: "Seriously, new research? You realize that women are not the only people who have hormones, right? Right from the start, I'm left to wonder if seasoned political scientists aren't skeptical about the conclusions of this research."

Though Landau, who holds a Master's degree from the Columbia School of Journalism, defended her work as merely reporting on a scientific study, CNN stated the piece "did not channel through the standard internal process and it was not reviewed by senior editorial staff before appearing on CNN.com."

Durante has long focused on the hormonal influence of women's behavior, previously released an academic paper in the Journal of Consumer Rearch discussing how women at peak fertility "nonconsciously choose products that enhance appearance, such as sexier clothing. "The desire for women at peak fertility to unconsciously choose products that enhance appearance is driven by a desire to outdo attractive rival women," Durante said in 2010. "If you look more desirable than your competition, you are more likely to stand out."

The new paper is "The Fluctuating Female Vote: Politics, Religion, and the Ovulatory Cycle." Below is a video interview with Kristina Durante:

Source: Durante KM, Rae A, Griskevicius V.The Fluctuating Female Vote: Politics, Religion, and the Ovulatory Cycle. Psychol Science. 2013 Apr 23.Psychol Sci. 2013 Apr 23. (accessed May 12, 2013)