Ladies, have you ever had a moment when you just felt like dressing sexier than usual?
You know you’re heading into the office, but for some reason, that little black dress in your closet is the exact item you want to put on.
And when you put on that dress, you know that you look good – damn good. In fact, you know you will look better than every other woman that you pass today.
Want To Know The Science Behind The Sexy?
There is a reason why you may unconsciously choose to dress sexier – you may be ovulating.
While ovulating, once per month the female brain kicks into competition mode. You want to look better than other females in your local vicinity – those who may compete with you to attract the attention of the perfect man.
In this quest to look sexy and stand out, you may reach for the hottest little number in your closet.
While you may not wake up consciously thinking ‘Look Out World!’ your body’s processes (ovulation) send those sassy feeling signals to your brain for you.
Frankly, it is out of your control!
In the next issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management explains the connection between competition, ovulation, and a sexy dress.
This experiment was basically two in one. The goal was to see, as the researchers predicted beforehand, if “competition for a suitable partner would be influenced by a woman’s fertility status.”
The first question that Kristina Durante and others sought to answer was this: would an ovulating woman choose sexier clothing to wear than a non-ovulating woman, simply because her body was in that process?
To test this, researchers showed a group of women (in various stages of the body’s ovulation, including some women not ovulating at all as the control) color photographs of other women wearing different outfits – some staunchly conservative and others scandalously sexy – and then asked the women which of the clothing they desired.
If you’d like to read more on their methods and results before the article is published next month, check it out at the school’s website.
Spoiler Alert! The researchers were right and the ovulating women chose sexier items of clothing.
The second question that the researchers wanted to answer was about distance: does the sense of competing for a male’s attention only exist on a local scale (as in, competing against that other hussy who works in your office for the attention of the new male intern) or is the range bigger (as in, you live in LA and want to compete with women in NYC)?
Spoiler Alert 2! The sense of competition is only local. The participants were shown pictures of women who lived locally and of women who lived over 1,000 miles away. They were then given the sexy clothing test again.
This test showed that: “The majority of participants chose sexier products [when viewing the pictures of local women] than those who had seen pictures of women who lived over 1000 miles away.”
The results continued: “This change in consumer choice is not a conscious decision and non-ovulating women are not subject to this effect.”
Who Does This Study Really Benefit?
If you didn’t notice before, take a look back up in the body of this article…this study was sponsored by a business school, not a science/neuroscience related institution.
The findings of this study do not only benefit the world of science, they give consumer marketers a whole new weapon. The effects of ovulation on a woman’s shopping habits may have huge implications for consumer marketers for years to come. By targeting ovulating women, marketers may begin to feature more sexy clothing and products at times when women are most likely to buy:
“For about 5 to 6 days every month, normally ovulating women – constituting over a billion consumers – may be especially likely to purchase products and services that enhance the physical appearance,” said Durante.
What do you all think? Ladies, do you have a tendency to purchase sexier clothing and other items that make you look and feel better at certain times every month?
More so, and this question is open to everyone, how would you feel if you consciously knew that marketing advertisements and promotions were taking advantage of a monthly bodily issue? Would knowing that fact alone alter your shopping habits even further?
Let us know what you think!
Durante, Kristina M. “Ovulation, Female Competition, and Product Choice: Hormonal Influences on Consumer Behavior.” Journal of Consumer Research, issue to be released late 2010.