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Fertile Women Love Variety in Sex, Shopping

Update Date: Feb 17, 2015 07:56 PM EST

Ovulation increases women's need for variety in sex and consumption. New research from the University of Texas at San Antonio College of Business reveals that women seek more variety in mates and products when they are most fertile.

"Just like a fisherman casting a wide net, ovulating women seek to cast a wide net into the dating pool and expand the number of potential suitors they have to choose from," lead researcher Kristina M. Durante, a marketing assistant professor at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Business, said in a news release. "And, this desire for variety in men at ovulation triggers a variety seeking mindset that carries over into desire for variety in products."

The latest study involved 553 female participants in the U.S. between 18 and 40 years of age who were not pregnant or taking hormonal contraceptives. Suring ovulation, women's desire for new options in men increased as well as their desire in a variety of products.

Interestingly, the study also linked loyalty for a romantic partner to a reduced desire for product variety. Researchers said the findings suggest that loyalty in romantic relationships can translate to brand loyalty.

"From candy bars to cosmetics, ovulating women chose many different options--not just the same product or brand again and again," Durante said in a news release. "However, when we had women imagine themselves in a loving relationship with a desirable partner, or when we had married women put on their wedding rings, they no longer desired variety near ovulation."

Researchers said the latest findings could help companies increase revenue by using mate attraction motives to increase desire for variety in consumer behavior.

"For about a week every month, normally cycling women--constituting over a billion consumers--may be especially likely to respond to appeals by competing brands to switch," concluded Durante.

The findings are published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

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