Women's Sexual Health

Why does a fancy purse say ‘stay away from my man’?

Women are unconsciously deterring romantic rivals by buying certain luxury items, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

“Spending on luxury goods in the US amounts to as much as $525 billion per year, with women’s products accounting for over half of this consumption. Why do women desire luxury goods?” write authors Yajin Wang and Vladas Griskevicius (both University of Minnesota).

Sometimes it’s because they want other women to know their mates are spoken for. “Women at different ages and relationship status inferred that a woman with designer outfits and accessories has a more devoted partner,” the authors write. “They also spontaneously inferred the partner financially contributed to these luxurious possessions. Such information is especially valuable when their relationship is threatened by another woman.”

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