Eighteen professional lap dancers working in a gentlemen’s club recorded their menstrual cycle, work shifts and tip earnings for 60 days on a study website. A mixed model analysis of 296 work shifts showed an interaction between cycle phase and hormonal contraception use.
The results: Normally cycling strippers (not on birth control) earned about US$ 335 per 5-hour shift during estrus, US$260 per shift during the lower fertility phase, and US$185 per shift during menstruation. Why exactly? The psychologists are not sure. It could be related to smell, or sound maybe, but this should be investigated in further research.
“Studies like this,” Miller says, “can tell us about the nature of
human sexuality and attraction and answer important questions scientists
have been debating for decades.” For example: Conventional scientific
wisdom says that almost all mammals except humans go into estrus (a k a
“heat”). Cats yowl and raise their hind ends in the air; female primates
get visibly engorged in relevant areas. But humans, scientists have
long believed, do no such things. Miller and Jordan’s research indicates
otherwise. “It’s highly controversial because it’s science blurring the
line between humans and other primates,” Miller says, “but our results
give clear economic evidence that human estrus actually does exist.”
Next they hope to uncover how
women signal that they’re in estrus: Do they smell different? Sound
different? Their research could have practical applications as well.
“The findings that estrus impacts earnings could have implications for
women selling cars or giving big presentations as C.E.O.’s,’’ Miller
says. ‘‘Should women schedule big job interviews during certain weeks of
the month? We don’t know. But maybe.”