Entries in red (5)
Ovulating women report increased sexual desire and preference for wearing sexy clothing compared to non-ovulating women.1,2 But does ovulation impact the color of clothing she chooses? A survey of “regularly ovulating” women (i.e., not on birth control pills, pregnant, etc.) reported their menstrual cycle’s timing and noted the color of the shirt they were currently wearing.3 Those ovulating and at their most fertile (6-14 days following the start of her last period) were more likely to wear red or pink compared to other colors, and of those wearing red or pink, nearly 80% were ovulating.
1Haselton, M. G., & Gangestad, S. W. (2006). Conditional expression of women’s desires and men’s mate guarding across the ovulatory cycle. Hormones and Behavior, 49, 509–518.
2Durante, K. M., Li, N. P., & Haselton, M. G. (2008). Changes in women’s choice of dress across the ovulatory cycle: Naturalistic and laboratory task–based evidence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1451–1460.
3Beall, A. T., & Tracy, J. L. (in press). Women more likely to wear red or pink at peak fertility. Psychological Science.
As a diligent reader of Science of Relationships, you’ve read our past articles on how wearing the color red is more than just a fashion choice. For example, you know that men find women more attractive in red because red is seen as an indication of more sexual receptivity. Women also find men who wear red sexually exciting. These findings make it sound like everyone’s date-night wardrobe is set for life – just pick out something red! But anything that easy has to have a catch, right? Before you slip into that new red shirt or dress for your next hot date, you might want to keep reading...
We discussed previously how men view women who wear red (vs. other colors) as more physically attractive and sexually desirable. Researchers have recently discovered that this preference exists because men perceive red as indicating greater sexual receptivity in women. These results are consistent with evolutionary perspectives and research indicating female primates display red on their bodies to indicate sexual receptivity.
Pazda, A. D., Elliot, A. J., & Greitemeyer, T. (in press). Sexy red: Perceived sexual receptivity mediates the red-attraction relation in men viewing women. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2011.12.009
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, everyone knows that red is one of the colors associated with this holiday. It’s the color of Santa’s suit, Rudolph’s nose, and those tacky woolen sweaters you inevitably see at the office holiday party. However, recent research suggests that red gets us “in the mood” for more than just eggnog and gift-giving—it also increases how attractive and sexually desirable we find other people.