According to a story published this month in Psychology Today, UNM psychologist Geoffery Miller and his colleagues "tapped the talent at local gentlemen's clubs" and counted the tips they made during various phases of their menstrual cycles. Dancers who weren't on the pill made about $70 an hour during peak fertility, versus about $35 while menstruating and $50 in between. Girls who took birth control averaged about $37 an hour with no performance peak.
The researchers attribute the fluctuations in average hourly income to behavioral and physical changes that occur during a woman's monthly cycle: ie., the strippers were more flirtatious and sexual during the times when they were most likely to conceive. Or, you know, maybe they were bloated and cranky and didn't feel like dancing during the other times.
My favorite part of the article has got to be this quote:
"Birth control could lead to many thousands of dollars lost every year.... If you're a woman in any service-industry job looking to maximize your tips, Miller suggests scheduling more shifts for the phase right before ovulation: 'It might help to know about this so that you can exploit these effects.'"
But the true moral of this story, naturally, is to use your grant money wisely. Think of all the lap dances those research dollars could buy! —Megan Miller