Ovulating women behave in ways never seen before
Investigators at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Minnesota have discovered something interesting about ovulating women. They are meaner to other women, more competitive and dress sexier when they ovulate. Study authors say they have never seen such behavior among women who were asked to play an economics game.
For their study researchers asked women to play the "dictator game". They discovered women are stingier with their money, but more so when it comes to sharing with other women. Women who were ovulating shared 25 percent of their money. Non-ovulating women shared half of their money.
"These findings are unlike anything we have ever seen in the dictator game. You just don't see people giving away more than half of their money," said Kristina Durante, assistant professor of marketing at the UTSA College of Business and lead study author." One possibility is that we're seeing ovulating women share more money as a way to flirt with the men."
Ovulation makes women meaner to other women
Ovulating women were much less willing to share with other women and they became meaner Durante added.
In another experiment women were willing to make less money, but only as long as they knew they were making more than the next woman.
When it came to purchasing, women wanted a more expensive car than their female counterparts. Women chose a $20,000 car if the other women had a $12,000 vehicle. If they were offered a $25,000 car they declined if they knew another woman had a $40,000 car.
"What's interesting about this finding is that ovulating women are so concerned about their relative position that they are willing to take less for themselves just so that they could outdo other women," said study coauthor Vladas Griskevicius, associate professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management in a press release.
Ovulating women dress sexier
When it comes to dressing up, the investigators found women dress sexier during ovulation, perhaps to send a message to other women that they are superior versus as a way of flirting with men.
If the women played games with men they were actually nicer than they were to other women when playing the same games.
The researchers say women act differently during ovulation because their brains are "hard wired" the same as they were 1000 years ago. Today's woman is capable of earning money and making decisions but evolution makes women want to trump other women.
The finding, published in the February issue of the Journal of Marketing Research has implications for women who should recognize ovulation can make them spend more money on sexier clothing as a way to "outdo" other women. Sexier clothing during ovulation might be a way of telling other women to "back off". Previous research has shown ovulation changes how a woman eat and what she buys. The information is important for understanding the economic behavior of women the study authors say.