Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Arturo Z. Vasquez-Parraga

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael S. Minor

Third Advisor

Dr. Sibin Wu


This doctoral dissertation addresses the biological and psychological components of consumers’ decision-making processes. Particularly, it investigates the impact of female sex hormones on women’s consumption behaviors regarding fashion products. These hormones reach peak level when women are near ovulation, and this research examines how these hormones, when at peak level, influence women’s attitudes and purchase intention towards sexy and revealing fashion products.

The research is based on two theoretical frameworks: ovulatory shift hypothesis (OSH) and theory of reasoned action (TRA). Specifically, the OSH, based on the female ovulatory cycle postulates that women change their sexual preferences for men with perceived good biological indicators of genetic fitness on the high-to-low fertility days of the cycle. Moreover, women near ovulation may also exhibit increased mating interest and higher motivation to act in ways that would help secure a desirable partner. The theory of reasoned action sheds light on the indirect relationship between women’s ovulatory period and their choice of apparel, with attitude as a mediator. A within-subject survey design was used to examine the proposed phenomenon. Women were invited to take an ovulation test twice and then fill out a survey after each test. To test for fertility, women were invited to complete the Luteinizing (LH) test using the over-the-counter urine applicator test Clearblue® Easy Ovulation Test Kit. Subjects were recruited from a large women’s hospital in Vietnam for the pre-test. For the main study, subjects are recruited at three large hospitals in the Texas Medical Center (TMC), Houston, Texas, U.S.

Consistent with the OSH, the findings suggest that when near ovulation, women show more favorable attitudes and stronger purchase intentions toward sexy and revealing fashion products. As predicted by TRA, attitudes toward sexy and revealing fashion products mediate the relationship between ovulation and purchase intention. The results of this study add to related streams of research that suggest hormonal fluctuations influence consumers’ attitudes and purchase intentions. For managers, the results provide suggestions on how to approach female consumers with sexy and revealing appearance-related products more effectively.


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