WASHINGTON It's a symbol of courage and sacrifice, of sin and sexuality, of power and passion and now new research demonstrates that the color red makes men more alluring to women.
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 the August issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, published by the American Psychological Association.
"Red is typically thought of as a sexy color for women only," said Andrew Elliot, PhD, of the University of Rochester and University of Munich. "Our findings suggest that the link between red and sex also applies to men."
Twenty-five men and 32 women briefly viewed a black-and-white photo of a Caucasian man in a polo shirt, surrounded by a red or white matte. Using a nine-point scale, they answered three questions: "How attractive do you think this person is?" "How pleasant is this person to look at?" and "If I were to meet the person in this picture face to face, I would think he is attractive."
Red warmed up women only. Women who looked at a man surrounded by red or white rated the man surrounded by red a little over one point higher on a nine-point scale of attractiveness, a statistically significant bump.
Another experiment featured a man in a color photo, dressed in either a red or a green shirt. A pool of 55 women rated the man in red as significantly more attractive -- on average, nearly one point higher on the same nine-point scale. They also thought he was more desirable, according to a second, five-item measure that asked viewers to rate, for example, the likelihood that they'd want to have sex with him.
Although red means different things in different cultures, the finding of women (but not men) drawn to men in red was consistent across countries.
And it's true about red power t
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American Psychological Association