Calling all binge-shoppers and serial daters,
Ever wonder why we (women) are so impulsive when it comes to shopping, sex, dating, and eating? Or ever wonder why our male counterparts seem to have it all under control? Well it may have to do with our menstrual cycles. New research conducted by Karen J. Pine and Ben Fletcher (2010) of the UK found that women’s spending behavior is menstrual-cycle sensitive.
They conducted a survey on 443 females, 18–50 years of age, who were told to report their spending in the previous seven days and their menstrual-cycle phase, follicular, mid-cycle or luteal. They reported that women in the luteal phase (weeks between ovulation and menstruation) were significantly less controlled and more impulsive than women earlier in their cycle. There was also a significant correlation among over-spending, lack of control and buyers’ remorse with day of cycle, suggesting that impulsive and excessive monetary behavior in women may be due to the adverse impact of ovarian hormones upon self-regulation.
However, there is absolutely no mention of our impulsive friend, Dopamine. Which we should all know by now, is a neurotransmitter that is enhanced (especially in combination with drugs) during reward and is involved in cognitive and tactile learning. Could this be an underlying factor? Maybe dopamine release is more substantial during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle?
Find the articles using the following links:
Dopamine Determines Impulsive Behavior – Scientific American