Women Use Designer Goods to Ward Off Female Rivals

Just think of these as "deterrents" / Photo: Uluc Ceylani/Shutterstock

Some men buy expensive car as a "hey, I'm rich" signal to potential mates, but how about women? A new study from the University of Minnesota show that women also use expensive designer goods like Louis Vuitton handbags, Jimmy Choo shoes and Prada sunglasses for mating purposes. Just not what you'd expect:

“Whereas men use conspicuous products to attract mates, women use conspicuous products to deter female rivals,” conclude the study’s co-authors, Valadas Griskevicius, an associate professor of marketing at the Carlson School of Management, and PhD student Yajin Wang.

Of course, previous studies have found other reasons women purchase luxury products: to boost their self-esteem, for example, or to express their identity. But, as the findings of this new study suggest, such products may also play an important “signaling” role in relationships.

“In past research we have found that when men are showing off these luxury products, the audience is often other women,” said Griskevicius in a phone interview with MinnPost. “When men have a flashy car, they want women to see this flashy car and to realize how expensive it is. But for women, they’re showing off these expensive products to other women.”

Susan Perry of MinnPost has the story: Link

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