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It seems that there's a link between a woman's fertility levels and sense of competition.
According to the new study, women become far more competitive with attractive counterparts when at the peak of their fertility. Attractive women approaching female bosses for a pay rise should be extremely careful. They could be offered up to 25 per cent less pay by their female bosses during this time.
During the study, carried out by psychologists at Wellesley College in the U.S., women completed a test with an on-screen virtual partner. They had to make a certain salary offer to their partner and keep the rest for themselves. They had to rate the partner's attractiveness on a 10-point scale at the end of the test.
On average women in the fertile stage of the month made 25 per cent less offers to attractive women, the results of the study. Women at the low-fertility stage offered 20 per cent more to the prettiest women than they did to the least good looking, suggesting that low-fertility women are less competitive with attractive female co-workers.
'What we found supports the idea that, among women, competitiveness during periods of high fertility is linked to the withholding of resources from potential rivals,' Dr Margery Lucas told the Independent, reminding of the hunter-gatherer days when a woman had to look after herself and deny as much as possible to rival women competing to attract men.
'Resource competition is important because women need to acquire products clothing, makeup, accessories, and so on to enhance their attractiveness. By offering less to attractive women and keeping more for themselves, fertile women can help to enhance their own appearance and weaken a competitor's ability to do the same. Women today should be aware that in, for example, salary negotiations, menstrual cycle phase, along with the attractiveness and sex of the negotiation partner, could interact in complex and potentially costly ways," she said.
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