New psychological research suggests a significant sex effect for the colour red. This colour might be unique in rendering young women more sexually attractive to men.
The latest study, conducted by two psychologists, Sascha Schwarz and Marie Singer from the Technische Universität Dortmund, and the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany, was partly inspired by previous work which found, for example, that when a woman wore a red T-shirt, men chose to sit closer to her, than a woman wearing blue. Another previous study found women wearing red in a bar were more approached by men.
The latest investigation has recently been published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and the authors focused on the impact of the color red, because this tint appears to have been connected to sexuality for thousands of years.
Archaeological records from Africa apparently reveal that women extensively used red ochre and other red pigments for cosmetic purposes, and as a symbol of their fertility. Even today in parts of Africa women still display red ochre during wedding rituals.
The study entitled, 'Romantic red revisited: Red enhances men's attraction to young, but not menopausal women', contends that even today, red is rated as a very positive colour, because it is associated with love, passion, and warmth.
The study chose to investigate the reaction of men to younger and older women, because it was deciding between two main theories as to why men appear more attracted to women if they wear red.
The ﬁrst theory is that there is a cultural connection between red with romance—for example—red is paired with hearts on Valentine's Day to symbolize romantic affection. There is also an association with sex—in many societies, red signals sexual availability in "red-light" districts.
The second theory is that men are attracted to women wearing red because of our biology, not because of culture. In some female primates, increased sex hormone levels just prior to ovulation, when the female is most likely to conceive should she have intercourse, leads to increased blood ﬂow to the periphery of the body, thereby causing the skin at the genitals and face to become redder.
Male primates appear to become sexually attracted to these outer markers that ovulation is occurring inside females, and so, should mating occur, males have a better chance of passing on their genes to future generations.
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