October 11, 2006


'Women dress to impress at their most fertile' (Daily Mail, 11th October 2006)

Women try to "dress to impress" when they are at their most fertile, according to new US research.

The study of 30 university students found that as they approached ovulation they were likely to wear trendier clothes, flash more flesh, ditch trousers in favour of skirts and don eye-catching jewellery. [...]

The women, who did not know what the study was about and were all in stable relationships, were photographed in their least fertile and most fertile phases.

Then a group of 42 other people - just over half of them women - were asked to look at the pairs of pictures and judge in which one the woman was trying to look more attractive.

Their faces were blacked out to make sure the assessment was based on their attire.

The judges chose the photo taken during the the fertile phases 60% of the time, which the team said was " well beyond random chance".

The study's co-author April Bleske-Rechek, a psychologist from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, said what was remarkable about the effect of ovulation on women was that it was so easily observed.

"In our study, the approach of ovulation had a stronger impact on the way women dressed than the onset of menstruation, which is notorious for its supposedly deleterious impact," she said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 11, 2006 8:02 AM

Based on this, high-priced mall clothing stores should start stocking tampons to take advantage of the shopping synergy of its customers.

Posted by: John at October 11, 2006 8:24 AM

... what was remarkable about the effect of ovulation on women was that it was so easily observed.

What's remarkable is that anybody would take seriously a sample of 42 people over half of them women only 60% of whom could notice that the people in the pictures took more time with their appearance by wearing jewelry ...

Having been a woman for a number of years now, I think I can proffer a working hypothesis for why women tended to wear skirts more frequently during their more "fertile periods" and I won't need a study nor photographic evidence to augment my theory.


Posted by: erp at October 11, 2006 11:11 AM

The Eau Claire scientists also reported that the sun would likely rise in the east tomorrow.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at October 11, 2006 6:39 PM


Follow-up research shows that 53% of men in love are more likely to shower before a Friday night date than when they head out on Saturday morning to have the oil changed.

Plus or minus 4%, of course.

Posted by: Peter B at October 11, 2006 9:03 PM

Peter B. Thanks for clearing that up. I'm glad I checked in here before going to bed. I'll sleep more soundly knowing your study has cleared up a formerly murky area in male behavior.

Posted by: erp at October 12, 2006 12:33 AM