Science

Men Think Women Wearing Red Are More Interested In Sex

Red has always had a reputation for being raunchy. But why is it that men seem to be more attracted to women wearing red than any other colour?

It’s been know for a while that men definitely do rate women wearing red as more attractive — that’s been proven in the past. In fact, it doesn’t matter what the outfit is, either; a red t-shirt boosts sex appeal in the same as a slinky dress does.

What’s been missing, though, is why that’s the case. A study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, however, has gotten to the bottom of it: men perceive women wearing red as being more interested in sex.

To work that out, a team of researchers based at the University of Rochester showed men a photo of a single woman, which was doctored to look, in different cases, like she was wearing either a red or white T-shirt. The participants were then asked to gauge, on a scale of 1 to 9, if she was “interested in sex”.

The result? Women wearing red were graded, on average, 1.5 points higher. The researchers suggest that men may be evolutionarily conditioned to associate the colour with fertility. That’s not entirely surprising — I’m sure you can think of times associating a rosy red glow with sexual success — but it’s interesting to learn that it’s at the root of male attraction.

On a less frivolous note, it’s worth pointing out that red could be somewhat of a double-edged sword for the ladies: while it can attract admirers, it can also bring with it unwelcome attention. [Journal of Experimental Social Psychology via Science via Wired]

Image: DeSaint Lights/Flickr

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