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Sex

When Women Are Scarce, Men Spend, Borrow, And Deplete Savings -- Study

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Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 7:02 AM

click to enlarge Invest in this limited resource. - LINA LECARO
  • Lina Lecaro
  • Invest in this limited resource.
Men are strange creatures.

According to new research, if males believe there is a shortage of women (which is true even at a nail salon), they'll tend to spend more, borrow more and save less.

Huh? Wouldn't guys want to save up for the overstock sale?

Nope.

Ladies and lady luck seem to have something in common for dudes: When our losses are pile up, we double down!

(That's why men are so damned smart).

Researchers at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management had men read newspaper stories about a scarcity of women in their area.

That group of dudes then indicated they would save 42 percent less cash than men who believed they were in areas with lotso ladies.

The men with the lack of girls were also willing to borrow 84 percent more money -- per month, according to the just-released study.

"The Financial Consequences of Too Many Men: Sex Ratio Effects on Savings, Borrowing, and Spending" is being published this month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Vladas Griskevicius, the study's author, says it's all about survival -- survival of the gold card:

What we see in other animals is that when females are scarce, males become more competitive. They compete more for access to mates. How do humans compete for access to mates? What you find across cultures is that men often do it through money, through status and through products.

And lots of cocaine. Right, Charlie Sheen?

Another aspect of the study had men look at photos. Those who saw more men than women did not, in fact, turn gay. No, they spent more. According to a statement:

Merely seeing more men than women automatically led men to simply be more impulsive and want to save less while borrowing more to spend on immediate purchases.

Huh. This conflicts with research we've done at the strip club using images of live, nude women, which also made men want to empty their pockets.

Interestingly, a perceived scarcity of women prompted ladies to expect more from guys' wallets:

After reading a news article informing women that there are more men than women, women expected men to spend more on dinner dates, Valentine's gifts, and engagement rings.

"When there's a scarcity of women, women felt men should go out of their way to court them," Griskevicius said.

Thanks for the 411, Prof.

You might have just solved the Great Recession. If American men just believed that ladies were a scarce commodity in America, they'd punch up consumer spending like a Chinese billionaire gambling in Macau.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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