-- Robert Preidt
SATURDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- When women buy fancy
purses or certain other luxury items, it may be an attempt to stake
a claim on their men, according to a new study.
In a series of experiments, researchers from the University of
Minnesota had women imagine their romantic partners flirting and
being intimate with another woman at a party.
The researchers than assessed the women's desires for luxury
products in light of their motivation to guard their
In one experiment, the women "drew luxury brand logos on
handbags, shoes, T-shirts and cars that were about twice the size
compared to those who did not imagine the jealous theme at the
party," wrote researchers Yajin Wang and Vladas Griskevicius.
They also found that women said they would be less likely to
pursue a man whose partner was wearing a luxury outfit and
accessories because they perceived the man to be more devoted.
"Whereas men often display luxury products to the opposite sex, women often seek to flaunt expensive possessions to the same sex," the researchers wrote in the study, which is scheduled for publication in the Journal of Consumer Research.
"In essence, Fendi handbags fend off romantic rivals, and flaunting designer products says, 'Back off!'" the authors said.
They added, however, that "mate guarding" is not the only reason
women buy luxury goods. Past research has shown that such products
also make women happy or are used to signal status and taste.
The American Psychological Association offers advice on how
couples can keep their
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