Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study refutes suggestion that men prefer the lady in red because of body association

Date:
April 11, 2012
Source:
University of Kent
Summary:
The color red has long been associated with women's sexual attractiveness, but a new study has shown that this is not linked to any association in men's minds with the redness of women's genitalia.

A new study examines why the color red has long been associated with women's sexual attractiveness.
Credit: fotografiche.eu / Fotolia

The colour red has long been associated with women's sexual attractiveness, but a new study at the University of Kent has shown that this is not linked to any association in men's minds with the redness of women's genitalia.

A common view in popular discussion is that human males have a biological predisposition towards the colour red -- making it a very significant or 'salient' sexual factor because it makes them think about female genitals and sexual arousal. It has also been suggested that woman wear red lipstick to attract men by making them think about sexually aroused labia.

To test this hypothesis, a team from the University's School of Anthropology and Conservation generated 16 images of female genitalia by manipulating four individual photographs of the human female vulva to produce four subtle, yet different, colour conditions ranging from pale pink to red.

These images were then presented to 40 heterosexual males with varying levels of sexual experience who were asked to rate the sexual attractiveness of each image.

The results showed that the men rated the reddest shade significantly less attractive than the three pink shades, among which there were no significant differences in rated attractiveness.

Dr Sarah E. Johns, lecturer in evolutionary anthropology and lead researcher in the study, said: "Our results really challenge the commonly held view that the colour red promotes sexual attractiveness by acting as a proxy for female genital colour.

"We found in fact that men showed a strong aversion to redder female genitals. This study shows that the myth of red as a proxy for female genital colour should be abandoned. This view must be replaced by careful examination of precisely what the colour red, in clothing, makeup, and other contexts, is actually signalling to men. What it isn't signalling is female sexual arousal.

"Our findings have important ramifications for the future study of the role of colour signals in human social and sexual interactions," she said.

The research team also included Lucy A. Hargrave and Dr Nicholas E. Newton-Fisher of the School of Anthropology and Conservation. The study is published in the journal PLoS ONE.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Kent. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sarah E. Johns, Lucy A. Hargrave, Nicholas E. Newton-Fisher. Red Is Not a Proxy Signal for Female Genitalia in Humans. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (4): e34669 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034669

Cite This Page:

University of Kent. "Study refutes suggestion that men prefer the lady in red because of body association." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120411120351.htm>.
University of Kent. (2012, April 11). Study refutes suggestion that men prefer the lady in red because of body association. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120411120351.htm
University of Kent. "Study refutes suggestion that men prefer the lady in red because of body association." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120411120351.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins