Three out of four young women think about shopping nearly as often as men think about sex, it is claimed.
Thoughts of buying that new dress or a much sought-after pair of shoes pop into their heads every 60 seconds, according to a survey by the self- styled 'on-line fashion bible' cosmopolitan.co.uk.
Assuming eight hours of sleep a night, that means shopping trips consume their thoughts an astonishing 960 times a day and 6,720 times a week.
Other studies have previously claimed to uphold the commonly-held belief that young men have only one thing on their minds - sex.
For the girls out of Sex and the City, shopping is not only thought about, but done constantly
They are said to think about it every 52 seconds, while the subject crosses some women's minds only once a day.
The latest survey, out today, interviewed 778 women aged 19 to 45. Seventy-four per cent of them said they think about shopping every minute.
Two out of five described themselves as shoe and bag 'addicts', while the thoughts of more than one in ten focused on accessories or make-up.
Even the threat of a credit crunch will not stand in the way of a shopping spree, with 62 per cent saying they will put the damage on their credit card and 8 per cent even prepared to use funds saved to pay the rent or mortgage.
Nearly a quarter thought nothing of spending £200 or more on a longed-for item and more than a third would buy it in three or more colours.
On average, those surveyed spent at least 30 per cent of their annual income on clothes.
Perhaps most worryingly for men, half of those surveyed said they preferred shopping to spending time with their partner, and nearly as many confessed to keeping their shopping escapades secret from their partner to hide their level of spending.
The survey suggests that the thrill is in the chase for women where shopping is concerned.
Nearly half don't wear everything in their wardrobe and one in ten becomes bored with a new item after only a fortnight.
Kate Creasy, editor of cosmopolitan.co.uk, said: 'No sooner have they bagged the "it item" of the season than they're chasing the next shopping rush.'
Sarah Jessica Parker's character Carrie admitted having an addiction to shopping
When it actually comes to spending money, many women would rather shop alone than with a husband or partner tagging along.
Earlier this year another survey showed that women did not want to have the distractionof a husband or boyfriendslooking bored and constantly consulting his watch.
Of 2,000 couples interviewed by the designer outlet chain McArthurGlen, 89 per cent of the women said shopping alone or with their children was nicer than with their partner.
Of these 76 per cent blamed the man's 'bad behaviour', which included refusing even to enter the shop.
Discussing the cosmopolitan survey, psychologist Dr Jane Prince, of the University of Glamorgan, said: 'People think about things which bring them pleasurable feelings. The pleasure is usually in the anticipating and planning.