Men seem to prefer women in red
Researchers at the University of Rochester in New York have discovered that women wearing red appear more attractive to men. Men, however, are unaware that red turns them on.
Los Angeles Times
Romance is a puzzling thing. But scientists are doing their best to unravel the mysteries of human attachment and have discovered that women wearing red appear more attractive to men. Men, however, are unaware that red turns them on.
Researchers at the University of Rochester in New York conducted five experiments to assess how color can affect how men view a woman's attractiveness.
In one study, the men were shown photographs of women framed by a border of either red or white. The men tended to find the women more attractive when they appeared in the red frame.
In another study, men were shown pictures of women wearing red followed by pictures of the same women wearing another color. Men said they were more likely to ask out and spend more money on the women when they wore red.
Red did not change the attractiveness ratings for females rating other females, the authors said in their study, published Tuesday in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
It also did not change how men rated the women in the photos in terms of likability, intelligence or kindness.
Red is linked to romance throughout nature, said the study's lead author, Andrew Elliot, a professor of psychology.
Research has shown that nonhuman male primates are more attracted to females displaying red. Female baboons and chimpanzees redden when nearing ovulation to send out sexual signals.
"Our findings confirm what many women have long suspected and claimed: that men act like animals in the sexual realm. As much as men might like to think that they respond to women in a thoughtful, sophisticated manner, it appears that at least to some degree, their preferences and predilections are, in a word, primitive," the authors said.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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