Pick Me! Pick Me!
We know that hormones have a direct impact on a woman's emotional state. What you may not have known is that these chemicals also rule a woman's clothing choices when she's on a shopping spree. A new study to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research makes the claim that women buy sexier clothing when at their most fertile.
The researchers for this study think that this tendency is due to a sudden influx of the hormones that prod a woman's body toward ovulation. Ovulation is the release of an egg from an ovary or the most fertile time of a woman's cycle.
However, it seems that the craving to look desirable during ovulation has less to do with trying to attract men and more to do with a woman's instincts telling her to dress more attractive than potential rivals in order to outdo the opposition. A co-author of this study, Kristina Durante says that the woman's unconscious is responsible for her choice of clothes at this time. Her unconscious tells her to enhance her appearance. If a woman looks more desirable than her peers, she will be the one to stand out in the crowd. Durante is a fellow at the Carlson School.
During the study, women at different points of their menstrual cycles looked at photos of attractive women from their area as well as attractive women hailing from geographical locations over 1,000 miles away. The study participants were then requested to shop for clothes and accessories.
The ovulating women chose sexier outfits and accessories after viewing photos of local beauties, than did those who looked at photos of less attractive local females or those of faraway female strangers. But this was in great contrast to the reactions of those participants at other points in their cycles, said the researchers.
Durante commented that women at the peak of their fertility chose the more attractive items while shopping because they were driven to outdo their attractive rivals. The unconscious leads a woman to assess the attractions of other, nearby women in an effort to determine just how desirable she needs to be in order to catch an attractive potential partner.
An earlier study performed by researchers from Hertfordshire University found that women are prone to overspend and to indulge in impulse buying during the final 10 days of their menstrual cycles (luteal phase), just prior to menstruation. Last gasp attempt to snare a good catch? Or perhaps an expression of the intense emotions engendered by premenstrual syndrome—a way of letting off steam? This fascinating study of humor behavior deserves greater focus.