back to article Women's lust for shopping linked to periods

Research by the University of Hertfordshire has suggested that women's desire to hit the shops may be linked to hormonal changes during their menstrual cycle. The most dangerous time to be wielding a credit card is, according to Professor Karen Pine, the ten days before a woman's period - the "luteal phase" - during which they …


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  1. Colin Millar

    Do Universities serve any useful purpose

    A brain dead monkey could have told them that comfort shopping is one fairly common response to intense negative emotional states. True for men as well as women.

    So for the U of H as some women suffer from intense emotional upheaval during their period

    1) Emotions = shopping

    2) Period = Emotions

    3) Therefore period = shopping

    4) Sell research to the Daily Fail

    5) PROFIT!!!

    Wankers - in fact probably emotionally stilted persistent wankers.

  2. Anonymous Scotsman
    IT Angle

    Nesting instinct?

    While this makes a lot of sense in linking my own anecdotal evidence, I'd have thought this would have been more indicative of the nesting insticnt which is suppressed due to the auto-satisfaction of physical ( food and shelter) needs.

    Still, good to know for self preservation reasons.

  3. Admiral Grace Hopper

    The only thing ...

    ... that prevents me saying, "No shit, Sherlock", is the sure and certain knowledge that decrying research into the bleeding obvious is the first step down the road that leads to joining the Daily Mail's readership. Very tempting though (she said, pausing only to pick up her credit card before heading for the shoe shop).

  4. Neil

    Ten Days??

    That's a third of the bloody (hehe) month!

    God help us all.

    Although it might explain why I was allowed to buy a Roomba at the weekend.

  5. Andrew

    Is psychology a proper science now then?

    see above

  6. Paul


    not touching this with a 20' barge pole

    * get coat and runs away *

  7. Anonymous Coward

    So what you are saying is.....

    I should give her pin money just after she's come off the blob so she doesn't waste it on unnecessary fancy clothes and jewellery.

    God Bless the Reg, it's like typing

    [root]# man women

  8. TeeCee Gold badge

    Very bloody helpful, I'm sure.

    Now come up with something that I can use to explain to the wife the suspiciously large pile of boxes in the hall containing various bits of bleedin' edge techy stuff that came by courier the other day.

    Getting a sex change so I can use this useful cop-out doesn't appeal somehow.

  9. Richard

    @Colin Millar

    That's nothing. My old uni spent years on research to work out why men get sleepier after sex than women. In the end they concluded that it was because they use more energy and get tired.

    B. Obvious et al.

  10. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Colin Millar

    Bet the research was fun, though.

  11. Dave Webb

    Sounds obvious to me

    Hence the banking phrase: 'in the red'

    Mine's the one with her credit card bills in the pocket...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Talk about stating the bleeding obvious.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Why are women allowed to blame their hormones for bad behaviour?

    Do blokes use "not enough testosterone, so I bought myself a nice shooter-upper for the console", or "too much testosterone, that's why I got violent?". Option B would end in a court apperance.

    Sorry girls, learn to control yourself, the same way blokes have to...

    Paris, because rumour has it she has control.

  14. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: hormones

    Well, maybe blokes should blame their hormones more often - they're a factor in their behaviour just as ours are. It's just that they're not as immediately (ostensibly) predictable and easily ridiculed as women's.

    Both genders are subject to the shenanigans of all sorts of other hormones, too, we don't just have one each.

    "Sorry girls, learn to control yourself, the same way blokes have to..."

    Um, everyone controls themselves, otherwise society would collapse. Anyway, the results differ when we weaken. When women fail to control themselves, there is shopping and crying. When men fail to control themselves, there is drinking and WAR.


  15. Colin Millar

    @Richard & Sarah

    Wasn't there a uni that did research into whether the ridge around the helmet was for the mans pleasure or the woman's pleasure?

    They concluded that it was to stop your hand slipping off the end

    Yeah - its the plastic mac

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Right, people, let's get one thing straight: research into the obvious is the start of all science, because while it normally tells us we're right, it sometimes tells us we're wrong, and that's when we have to start thinking and stuff.

  17. Andy ORourke

    @ Re: hormones

    Sarah, dont you mean when men fail to control themselves there is the viewing of grumble flicks and putting it on the wife's expenses................

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Sarah - easily ridiculed

    Ms. Bee,

    No regular Reg reader ( or commentard) in their right mind would ridicule women or their cirumstances. We know all too well when we have overstepped the right proper bounds into the ridiculous from the sublime and are well aware that the Moderatrix will take us to task for said infraction. Some of our ill-thought attempts at humour do not come across with the proper sway and are promply swatted down with the cat-o-nine. The report is ridiculous in apparently stating the obvious, although, as you well point out, men and women have their foibles.

  19. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Sarah - easily ridiculed

    I think more research is needed. Anyway, if you saw the stuff I reject you'd realise that my tolerance is actually... what's a good tolerance simile? Fakir-like? Yeah, that'd do it. Only instead of nails it's like a bed of nasty internet twattiness.

    Oh, and well said, AC - there is a fundamentally valid point to this kind of research regardless of the apparent redundancy/appalling waste of money that could er, build some much-needed cheap housing, etc.

  20. Niall Campbell

    It would seem that... missus is in a permanent luteal phase.

    "The bills, the bills"

  21. ian

    Typically bleedin' obvious...

    I can see El Reg's write-up now: "Sir Isaac Newton sees apple fall and writes bloody great book about it." under the Department of the Obvious heading.

    Or, "Galileo watches pendulum swing, gets paid for it."

    Mines the obvious one.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    All going well until the last bit:

    "When women fail to control themselves, there is shopping and crying. When men fail to control themselves, there is drinking and WAR."

    Just shopping and crying? Are you sure? In the spirit of topicaltiy, it would be interesting to find out if J.Smith's husband agrees.

    I'll say it again: "Women can't live with'em, can't kill'em"

    That is a joke, of course. Not sure where I heard it first

  23. Richard
    Paris Hilton

    @Sarah Bee Re: hormones

    Generally I'd say that because the majority of world leaders is men, who knows what it would be like if they were women, but I'd guess at a similar scenario consisting of drinking and war, probably the only difference would be that the war would most likely be over something like shoes or bitchy comments about aforementioned shoes and a new war would be sparked every month.

  24. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah

    "Women can't live with'em, can't kill'em"

    That's real charming, hot stuff. Wanna come over here, fool around a little?

  25. James Pickett

    A pedant writes

    >Women like to buy things to make them themselves "feel more attractive" at the time of ovulation.

    But that's not during the luteal phase (which comes afterwards)! A good time not to have babies, in fact - so go shopping instead, perhaps...

  26. Eddy Ito

    Re: hormones

    @ Sarah Bee

    "When men fail to control themselves, there is drinking and WAR."

    Actually, there is always drinking. Failing to control oneself results in getting drunk and falling down. War is caused when politicians feel there is political and/or monetary gain.

    On a related note, the last time I was on your side, £25 wasn't enough for a cheap lunch. How hard could it be to "overspend" by that? Really, so what, they picked up an extra lipstick and a hair clip or maybe a nice bottle of wine for a change. Who cares even if it's a monthly thing, if it becomes a daily thing be afraid, be very afraid.

  27. James Pickett


    "appalling waste of money that could er, build some much-needed cheap housing, etc."

    But it wouldn't though, would it? So I think I'd rather it kept some students occupied (heaven knows what they'd get up to otherwise) and us amused!

    WRT hormones, I think the dependence of females on theirs is as nothing to the blokes'. It's just that most doctors are men and on this subject they are in permanent denial. I mean, how many women use subscription TV for porn films? Put them on expenses, maybe... :-)

  28. Jonathan McColl

    @Richard and Sarah

    "Generally ... because the majority of world leaders is men, who knows what it would be like if they were women, but I'd guess at ... war ... over something like shoes or bitchy comments about aforementioned shoes and a new war would be sparked every month."

    And then there was history: Margaret Thatcher + Argentina = war. Imelda Marcos = shoes + no war.

  29. Chris

    Hacked off people buy stuff to cheer themselves up...

    Details at eleven?

    Seriously though, how do I get a job working for the Department of Bloody Obvious Research?

  30. Anonymous Coward


    ...if that's the effect of a period, what's the effect of a colon?

    Mine's the one with the Taco Bell receipt in the pocket.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: @Sarah

    no thanks, not sure our senses of humour are that well aligned

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bravo Sarah!

    No real comment really, males have hormonal cycles too. it's just they're normally less talked about, or obvous. Some comparative research might be of interest. Most males are not aware of their owm cycles.

    Regarding the 'Men like war' connection - there's always the add-on -

    'Men like war because women like warriors' but 'll keep my head down on that one.

  33. Sceptical Bastard

    Women and war

    Uncontrolled men cause war. Agreed..

    But uncontrolled women don't start wars? Helen of Troy? Boadicea? Golda Meir? Mrs Ghandi? And, of course, that filthy Thatcher creature. We await Merkel's invasion of Poland...

    BTW, Sarah, we think you do a grand job moderating the comments. Don't we lads?

  34. Evil_Medic

    Article incomplete

    Strangely, the article makes no mention of how shopping habits compare with the follicular phase.

    -Pine quizzed 443 women aged between 18 and 50 about their spending habits. Nearly two-thirds of the 153 participants who were in the luteal phase "admitted they had bought something on an impulse and more than half said they had overspent by more than £25".

    As Neil said, a third of the month. We need a graph tracking discretionary expendatures and whether there is a hump (tee hee) around the time of ovulation.

    Oh well, my work deals with cattle reproduction, so I can add nothing.

  35. Davey Bee

    @ Colin Millar

    "4) Sell research to the Daily Fail". Er... this story was reported by BBC, Times of India, ElReg, FemaleFirst etc., (and the DM too)

    So what's your point, muppet?

  36. Tom Ware

    @Colin Millar @Andrew

    C'mon now people, this isn't just scientific research. It's scientific research from an academic with an important new book to flog (Sheconomics, from £2.90 used and new on amazon, since you ask). I'm sure the good Prof would appreciate a little less snark as a lot of hard work went into thinking up that book title.

    @Niall Campbell

    I think your other half may have PPPMS - pre-peri-post-menstrual syndrome. It's a well recognised condition that leads to moodiness and unpredictability and lasts the week before, the week of and the fortnight after menstruation and up to sixty years after the menopause.

  37. Maty

    At what point ...

    ... in the male hormonal cycle is there a fatal urge to go out and buy something that has at least two LEDs and/or goes 'meep' once an hour?

    By extensive research among male geeks, I've managed to narrow the time frame to between age 8 and 75. Almost all Geeks admitted to several such purchases, many over £250, and particularly regretted those purchases that ran anything by Microsoft.

    Those with particularly virulent versions of this syndrome have become leaders of government IT projects.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re Colin Millar 15:01

    Would our lady the Moderatrix please flag comments like this as NSFW?

  39. wayne

    I saw the headline and came straight in for Ms. Bee's comments.

    I saw the headline and came straight in for Ms. Bee's commentary on the inevitable misogynistic comments.

    Excellent job, keep holding back the rising tide of waste of bandwidth.

  40. Charles Manning
    Thumb Down

    How good was the reasearch?

    Asking questions only works reliably if the response is not skewed. Anyone with a fertile female in the house knows to choose words wisely at certain times which surely casts doubt on the validity of using questionnaires at different times of the cycle.

    Maybe the women shopped hard right through the month but only admitted the expenditure in their post-ovulation phase. During the raggy bit they probably told the researcher to just fuck off resulting in that stat not being gathered.

  41. ted frater

    Re AC at 18.04

    Most men arnt aware of their own hormonal cycle?

    Speaking for yourself mate?

    Or are you on bromide in your tea? the standard joke for those doing national service, apart from the normal morning rise if you know what I mean,

    An average male in his teens and 20's should be fully aware of his hormonal cycle,

    it will makeitself obvious pretty much daily.

    By the time hes 70 plus it will have dropped to a weekly event.

    So i have found.

    Not complaining tho,


  42. skeptical i

    Then what causes men's lust for shopping?

    The lines at the DIY shop for power tools ain't entirely comprised of women, y'know.

    <-- Machetes 'cuz that's all I can afford right now.

  43. Allan Dyer

    @Jonathan McColl

    So we should conclude that supplying Thatcher with shoes could have averted the Falklands War? Next we'll have a Shoe Event Horizon.

    "Relax and Enjoy Your Shoes"

  44. James Pickett

    @Charles Manning

    Good point. Perhaps the research could be re-run when all our MP's expenses get published?

    It shouldn't be long now...

  45. Anonymously Deflowered

    Talking of stating the obvious

    Perhaps some reg readers should think whether they're adding anything of value before posting a comment that ends with "Paris because..." or "Mines the one with tired joke in the pocket"

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