Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sexual dimorphism in humans shopping clothes

Well, this topic is definitely so cliche, that i dont think anyone can add any more info to it. But i had my own little realization about its causes, when i recently went as a bulk-discount-filler with a lady. (i.e. "buy 2 get 2 free, but i want only 2 clothes. Will u club with me?"). And this particular behaviour i'm describing is only restricted to the type of shopping where one says "i need more clothes" rather than "lets go shopping". Buying clothes in these two modes is very different, but i guess i wont get into that now. And my observations are based on a rather small sample size of n~=5 females. But, i'm definitely not willing to spend time trying to increase the sample size, for obvious reasons.

Disclaimer: I'm not a sexist pig. Dimorphism doesnt mean one way is better. It just means there is a difference.

The phenotype:
Males choose a shop based on monetary + style + variety based considerations. Go in. Visually pick a bunch of things that they like. Try them, pick a few out of the n options. Done.

Females choose a shop based on similar parameters. Pick a whole lot of things. Try some of them. Buy none. Repeat these steps in another shop. And keep repeating until you have checked all shops in the area. And then either go back to one of the shops (where she might even have picked a fight with the shopkeeper) or a very likely other option - dont buy anything at all. And repeat this in another area some other day.

My hypothesis of the cause:
Females have a particular image in their head, of what they want to buy, before they enter any shop. If they dont find things matching the picture, no matter how awesome it is, they wont buy it. The best that piece of clothing will fetch is a "ah, thats nice and cute. But not now". Well, the rationale is that they wouldnt want to subtract out from the budget for the thing in their mind. But, this of course depends on how much money one has at hand.

Males get into a shop unprejudiced by what they want. In some cases, they even dont have a model of what they already have. Buy almost everything in one shop, even though it might not be the best deal for all of the items purchased, because they are lazy to invest so much time on clothes.

Current mood: meh
Currently listening to: Indifference - Pearl Jam