5 August 2010

Ovulating women buy sexier clothes

by Kate Melville

Ovulating women unconsciously buy sexier clothes, doing so not to impress men, say the University of Minnesota researchers who conducted the study, but to outdo rival women during the handful of days each month when they are ovulating.

"The desire for women at peak fertility to unconsciously choose products that enhance appearance is driven by a desire to outdo attractive rival women," says researcher Kristina Durante. "If you look more desirable than your competition, you are more likely to stand out."

Durante's research, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, provides some of the first evidence of how, why, and when consumer behavior is influenced by hormonal factors.

Although the end result is to attract the best romantic partner available, Durante's research found that ovulating women's choice of dress is motivated by the other women in their environment. "In order to entice a desirable mate, a woman needs to assess the attractiveness of other women in her local environment to determine how eye-catching she needs to be to snare a good man," Durante says.

The new findings have practical implications for marketers because ovulatory cycle effects may profoundly influence women's consumer behavior. "For about five to six days every month, normally ovulating women may be especially likely to purchase products and services that enhance physical appearance," says Durante. Such products include not only clothing, shoes, and fashion accessories, but also cosmetics, health supplements, fitness products and medical procedures.

Ovulation triggers female risk-taking behavior
Male testosterone levels surge with ovulation
Unnatural selection: Courtesy of The Pill
Women more likely to bed men in red
Color red makes men behave "like animals"
Men: Simple Creatures

Source: University of Minnesota