Who says I Love You first, the man or the woman
The Official, Scientifically Validated, Color of Attraction
          Research, seriously, scientific research. No, seriously.

Going to a party and want to look appealing and attractive? Whether you're male or female, guess what? Wearing the color red will help you immensely. If you're a young female, just standing in front of a red wall will raise your rating (and men won't know exactly why).

A recent study has shown that young and older men judged young women (M = 23.67 years), to be more sexually attractive when they were standing against a red rather than a white background. Red only increased the 'sexual attraction' factor but did not increase ratings of intelligence, physical attractiveness, or sympathy.

Which one of these girls looks better to you guys?

Girl on White Girl on Red

Overall, there is a vast sea of misinformation and unknown elements assumed to cause two people to be attracted to each other.

Recently however, there have been studies of heterosexual attraction which have indicated that:
  • Women are attracted to symmetrical bodies and faces of males
  • They are also drawn to males who manifest physical effects of testosterone (deep voices, broad shoulders, strong chins)
  • Women have indicated that intelligence, sense of humor and social status of the male are appealing factors
  • Males are drawn to signals of youth in females - full lips, lush hair, smooth skin) and the 'hourglass' shape (narrow waist in proportion to larger hips).

Now, several studies have revealed the relevance to males and females of the color red.

A series of experiments(1) discovered that men were found to report a higher degree of sexual attraction to women dressed in red as compared to women dressed in another color. Males also reported that they planned to spend more money on a date when the woman was dressed in red.

In a 2012(2) study of restaurant customers, researchers discovered that male patrons actually gave higher tips to waitresses wearing red when compared to waitresses who were dressed in white. The latest studies(3) of red and attraction are related to males wearing the color.

In the United States, England, Germany and China, women found men more appealing when they were either pictured wearing red or framed in red, compared with other colors. The finding is reported in a recent issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, published by the American Psychological Association.

Both females and males saw a black-and-white photo of a Caucasian male in a polo shirt, surrounded by a white or red. The study subjects were then asked three questions: "How pleasant is this person to look at?" "How attractive do you think this person is?" and "If I were to meet the person in this picture face to face, I would think he is attractive."

The red matte affected only the women's opinions. Females judged the males surrounded by red to rate over one point higher on a nine-point scale than the males backed by white. Studies indicated that women rated men in red as more powerful, attractive and sexually desirable, but not necessarily more likable or sociable.

Another experiment checked the appeal of a man in a color photo who was wearing either a green or a red shirt. The women in the study rated the man in red as significantly more attractive that the green-shirted version. They also rated him as more desirable. In a follow up study, women judged men in T-shirts as being more generally and sexually attractive if the shirts were red rather than blue. Other smaller studies found similar results with red versus gray shirts.

Guys and the color red Males and the attraction of red...

Are men aware that red may work better for them at work and at play? The authors of the study suggested that red could influence men's level of attraction in social as well as work situations. The authors suggest red might make men more likely to strut their stuff. "A man who wears red may feel dominant," they added, "which influences his self-confidence and behavior and in turn may impress women."

Going out tonight? Hmmm. Wonder what color you'll wear...

(The author mused as she heated up a vat of red dye in her kitchen while the fresh red paint dried on her walls)

1. Andrew Elliot and Daniela Niesta (2008)
2. Nicolas Guéguen and Céline Jacob (2012)
3. "Red, Rank, and Romance in Women Viewing Men," Andrew J. Elliot, PhD, University of Rochester and University of Munich; Daniela Niesta Kayser, PhD, University of Rochester; Tobias G. Greitemeyer, PhD, University of Innsbruck; Stephanie Lichtenfield, PhD, University of Munich; Richard H. Gramzow, PhD, University of Southampton; Markus A. Maier, PhD, University of Munich; Huijun Liu, PhD, Tianjin Medical University; Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Vol. 139, No. 3.

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