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Monday, December 10, 2007

Ovulate Your Way to the Top

posted by on December 10 at 9:21 AM

From this weekend’s The New York Times Magazine:

Miller, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of New Mexico, and Jordan, his recent undergraduate research assistant, did conduct a study examining the impact ovulation has on lap dancers’ tip earnings. But they gathered data via a Web site, where strippers logged in anonymously to provide information about their earnings, productivity and menstrual cycles during 296 work shifts (about 5,300 lap dances). The results: While ovulating—and therefore the most fertile—strippers made an average of $30 per hour more than menstruating women and $15 per hour more than women elsewhere in their cycles. Women on the pill—who typically don’t ovulate—made significantly less than naturally cycling women overall and had no “estrus earning peak.”

Conventional scientific wisdom says that almost all mammals except humans go into estrus (a k a “heat”). Cats yowl and raise their hind ends in the air; female primates get visibly engorged in relevant areas. But humans, scientists have long believed, do no such things. Miller and Jordan’s research indicates otherwise. “It’s highly controversial because it’s science blurring the line between humans and other primates,” Miller says, “but our results give clear economic evidence that human estrus actually does exist.”

The findings that estrus impacts earnings could have implications for women selling cars or giving big presentations as C.E.O.’s,” Miller says. “Should women schedule big job interviews during certain weeks of the month? We don’t know. But maybe.”

RSS icon Comments


i am highly amused by that title

Posted by giannissima | December 10, 2007 9:37 AM

Strippers make money based on how much guys want to fuck them. It's a direct, explicit connection. So, if ovulating makes a stripper more desirable/fuckable, she makes more money.

That last paragraph though... It's seems, I don't know, a little insulting to imply that female CEOs would make more money if they were more fuckable. This may be true indirectly (like how Presidents and CEOs are taller than average people), but, directly comparing strippers to female CEOs makes my feminist hackles hise...

Posted by Julie | December 10, 2007 9:39 AM

Estrous humans??... Sweet!

Posted by James | December 10, 2007 9:54 AM

that's assuming that the person interviewing you is a straight male, which is a somewhat sexist assumption. what happens if a straight female interviews you? a gay male? a lesbian female? now THAT'S the next step of the study. would a lesbian respond the same way to the "estrus"? would a gay male be uninfluenced or actually negatively affected? would a straight woman have a hostile reaction?

Posted by ellarosa | December 10, 2007 9:59 AM

Does this apply to fat chicks? If so, Dan should advise fatties to seduce their skittish husbands during estrus

Posted by Medina | December 10, 2007 10:00 AM

All this talk about ovulating lapdancers is making we want some fried chicken. Mmmm, fried chicken.

Posted by gavingourley | December 10, 2007 10:06 AM

I guess we are all animals at some level.

Posted by OR Matt | December 10, 2007 10:12 AM

This calls for more research. Lots and lots of research.

Posted by Big Sven | December 10, 2007 10:12 AM

MY next question ... and I have a hunch on this one ... women are more attracted to partners they would normal NOT find attractive durring estrus.

Posted by OR Matt | December 10, 2007 10:14 AM

MY next question ... and I have a hunch on this one ... women are more attracted to partners they would normaly NOT find attractive durring estrus.

Posted by OR Matt | December 10, 2007 10:14 AM

MY next question ... and I have a hunch on this one ... women are more attracted to partners they would normaly NOT find attractive durring estrus.

Posted by OR Matt | December 10, 2007 10:14 AM

Bah. OK, let's assume the stripper/ovulation study is a reliable result at all, which I'm skeptical of. Ovulating women will be happier than women on or around their period, and thus could come off as more personable and friendly to the drooling clientele, and thus get more tips. Wouldn't that the bloody (sorry) obvious explanation?

Posted by tsm | December 10, 2007 10:16 AM

My experience with the sexual partners I've had leads me to definitely believe that woman are more interested in sex when they are ovulating. Just for myself, I pretty much just want sex all the time and I've never noticed an increase in sexual desire while my partner was ovulating. This makes me wonder if it's possible the strippers could be just more into their jobs while they are ovulating, which would account for the increase in tips.

Posted by PJ | December 10, 2007 10:25 AM

@12 ... that is one explanation. But female strippers, waitresses, in general most occupations... to their credit I think are much much much better at hiding their displeasures than men (who would be olivious to it anyways) especially when they have to get paid for it.

Hell, women burn out at a much lower rate doing assembly line work than men!

Posted by OR Matt | December 10, 2007 10:25 AM

#12, your suggestion might explain the $15 difference between menstruating women and women at other times of the month, but it doesn't explain the additional $15 for women who are ovulating. Why would women be particularly more friendly and personable while ovulating? That's what the study is implying?

Also, that was my first thought too, #2 - it's a stretch to compare what strippers are doing to a job interview, but maybe it's worth a study anyway.

Posted by Ayarkay | December 10, 2007 10:27 AM

Personally ... and you can call bull shit on this one ... but I believe in pheremones. For me, some women seem to have them, and some don't, and sometimes they come and go. I remember one person I knew that just made me think of sex ... whenever I was around her ... I didn't even WANT to have sex with her.

And maybe there something most guys can relate to, and perhaps some women, you get a more ratoinal view of the universe after the act ... which makes you feel even more pathetic.

Posted by OR Matt | December 10, 2007 10:33 AM

You know the next step. Determining whether Hillary is ovulating during Election Day.

Posted by kebabs | December 10, 2007 10:51 AM

Ovulating strippers might make more money, but I can pretty much guarantee you that if I was a manager hiring new employees (which I have done in the past), whether or not a woman was ovulating would make no difference whatsoever.

A good looking guy with a lecherous grin, on the other hand... I'm powerless.

Posted by SDA in SEA | December 10, 2007 11:03 AM


oh no, humans aren't affected by phermones, we don't have vemeronasal receptors like every other mammal.

and our females don't go into estrus.

see, jesus made us different than all the other animals. we have souls & they are just meat machines.

Posted by max solomon | December 10, 2007 11:24 AM

@17: no.

no, no, no.



And I'm even a tepid supporter of hers.

But no.

Posted by Juris | December 10, 2007 12:25 PM

kebabs, she's how old....? do you think she still ovulates?

Posted by ellarosa | December 10, 2007 12:56 PM

Evolutionary psychology studies are almost always bullshit, because no matter what the outcome, you can come up with some stupid explanation (usually sexist) for the results.

There was also a study that found that men rated the walks of ovulating women as less sexy than women who were not ovulating. Their explanation? That women who are ovulating "wouldn't want to advertise it" because they are more likely to get pregnant if they are raped, so they wouldn't want to appear sexier to strangers.

Which would be the exact opposite of this study. So which one is bullshit? I'll give you a hint: it's both of them.

Posted by exelizabeth | December 10, 2007 1:24 PM

@10, 11 - yes, there were some studies on this - women are attracted to different kinds of men depending on where they are in the cycle as well.

But, remember, the studies are almost always done on very limited subgroups of participants - either college students or .. as in this study ... strip clubs.

Statistically, none of the studies rise to the level of significance, since they're not randomized and the measures are not fully objective.

But they may be true.

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 10, 2007 2:02 PM

@23 .... well no shit. Getting a statistically significant result doesn't give you anything based on mechanism. Ask an epidemiologist. It basically is up to the scientist ... or in the case the slog ... to interpret the data mostly on personal experience.

Posted by OR Matt | December 10, 2007 2:10 PM

Wasn't this SLOG'ed a couple months ago?

Maybe the article is just short, but they labeled every other animals physical signs and symptoms of estrus, but not humans'? Only that it might be the cause of a data anomaly?

Strippers make their income in cash tips. What is the correlation between the middle and end of the months (paydays) and the stripper's cycles?

I don't deny we humans are members of the animal kingdom, but the study seems like it's making some pretty big leaps.

Posted by Dougsf | December 10, 2007 3:54 PM

Well I can definitely tell when my girlfriend ovulates.
Hormones, baby!

I've read other studies that show women smell more desirable to straight men (or other women) when they ovulate (not kidding), they also look healthier and more attractive those days.

And as for women feeling happier when they ovulate. Think again.

Posted by Griet | December 11, 2007 2:53 AM

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