Rich Jackson dissects why the colour red is, well, like a red rag to a bull, when it comes to the mating, dating or, let’s face it, shagging game…
Girls, get down to Cotton On now and get a red dress or something that’s red, cause a recent study from psychologists at Wuhan University in China has discovered that red is a seductive colour for men.
The study involved 283 participants, who were asked to rate the sexual attractiveness and warmth of a mocked-up photos of both sexes. The researchers altered the facial features of this person, making them appear more masculine or feminine, and the colour of T-shirt they wore from blue to white to red.
Researchers discovered that men judged women wearing red as warmer and more competent individuals and that it “was shown to have a boosting effect on the sexual attractiveness of women with feminine facial traits when perceived by male participants”, but that “women with masculine facial traits did not benefit.” They put that down to evolutionary biological reasoning – that men judge more feminine-looking women as being better reproductive partners.
The study showed that when applied in reverse, red was found to only have a marginal effect on men’s sexual attractiveness to women. Previous studies have even swung the colour’s effect the other way – too much red on a male scan suggest negative connotations to females such as dominance and aggression.
Interestingly, when asked to judge the mocked-up photos of their own sex they discovered that female participants did not favour females with either more masculine for feminine features, whereas men perceived feminine-looking men as less attractive, which could mean that on a subconscious level men exclude feminine-looking men in order to almost protect their masculine roles.
This study follows on from previous research on the subconscious effects that different colours have on humans, with much attention paid to the colour red. For example, studies have shown that when on a date with a girl wearing red, men are more likely to ask more intimate questions that indicate a higher level of sexual interest. Men are also more likely to solicit girls at bars who wear red lipstick or clothing and tip waitresses wearing it more generously.
Theories surrounding why red has this effect stem from historically red being a sexual colour that it is now engrained in our collective imaginations as sexy. Or because red on an evolutionary level is a sexual colour -for example, the study references the genitals of female chimpanzees that swell and redden when they are ready for sex, which could mean that on a primary psychological level a male sees a women in red and assumes they are prime for reproduction.
Both these theories could be true and simply reinforce one another.
So, essentially this shows that us men are the equivalent of bulls, rampaging and goring at bright red things.
Note from Publisher Alexandra Tselios: If the selected red item you choose is a turtleneck, you have just made this whole study null and void. Sorry.