Women are most likely to spend money on clothes and beauty products at the most fertile time in their period, according to new research at Concordia University in Canada.
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Not only does the menstrual cycle have physical and emotional effects, it also subtly influences the products women use, the kinds of food they eat and which products they buy and when they buy them.
The study looked at the behaviour of 59 women for just over a month. They kept detailed diaries about what they ate, bought, and wore, and any beauty treatments they underwent. Comparing the diaries with their menstrual cycles, it became clear that women wore clothes to attract the opposite sex, bought cosmetics and were more likely to have beauty treatments in the fertile phase of their period. The researchers have linked this to the effect of hormones surreptitiously encouraging the woman to try to conceive at the optimum time.
"In ancestral times women had to focus more time on mating-related activities during the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle, when the likelihood of conception was highest,” explained study leader Gad Saad.
"Those same psychological and physiological mechanisms now lead women to engage in greater consumption of products relevant to reproductive drives during the fertile phase of their cycle," he added.
In the non fertile phase, women were found to be more likely to eat foods with higher calories, because traditionally this was the ‘food gathering’ phase where sex was a bit pointless reproductively speaking and women could concentrate on getting other things done.