Money, Status, and the Ovulatory Cycle
Kristina Durante et al.
Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming
Abstract: Each month, millions of women experience an ovulatory cycle that regulates fertility. Past consumer research has found that the cycle influences women's clothing and food preferences. But we propose that the ovulatory cycle has a much broader effect on women's economic behavior. Drawing on theory in evolutionary psychology, we hypothesize that the week-long period near ovulation should boost women's desire for relative status, which should alter women's economic decisions. Findings from three studies show that near ovulation women sought positional goods to improve their social standing. Additional findings revealed that ovulation led women to seek positional goods when doing so improved relative standing compared to other women, but not compared to other men. When playing the dictator game, for example, ovulating women gave smaller offers to a woman, but not to a man. Overall, women's monthly hormonal fluctuations appear to have a substantial effect on consumer behavior by systematically altering women's positional concerns, which has important implications for marketers, consumers, and researchers.
Menstrual Cycle Effects on Attitudes toward Romantic Kissing
Rafael Wlodarski & Robin Dunbar
Human Nature, December 2013, Pages 402-413
Abstract: Hormonal changes associated with the human menstrual cycle have been previously found to affect female mate preference, whereby women in the late follicular phase of their cycle (i.e., at higher risk of conception) prefer males displaying putative signals of underlying genetic fitness. Past research also suggests that romantic kissing is utilized in human mating contexts to assess potential mating partners. The current study examined whether women in their late follicular cycle phase place greater value on kissing at times when it might help serve mate assessment functions. Using an international online questionnaire, results showed that women in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle felt that kissing was more important at initial stages of a relationship than women in the luteal phase of their cycle. Furthermore, it was found that estimated progesterone levels were a significant negative predictor for these ratings.
Nod to the estimable Kevin Lewis