In Western culture, red is the color of romance and sex. We already know that women like men in red (either wearing red clothing or being viewed against red backgrounds), finding them more sexually attractive and desirable than men wearing or appearing on backgrounds of other colors. But how does the color affect women's perceptions of other women? In a word: negatively, according to a new study. Let's check out the findings, friends.
1. Red Clothes Make Women Think Other Women Are More "Sexually Receptive"
Researchers from the University of Rochester, Trnava University, and the Slovak Academy of Sciences conducted a series of experiments to discover women's feelings toward other women wearing red. In the first experiment, participants viewed photos of other women online and were asked to judge them. Conclusion: "Participants rated the woman in red as more sexually receptive than the woman in white. Relationship status [of the participant] appeared to not have a significant effect on their opinion."
2. Women Think Women In Red Are Cheaters
That's not too surprising, given how strong the cultural association with red clothing is. But the second experiment showed that women don't just judge women in red to be more sexually receptive, they're prepared to judge their characters poorly, too. This time, participants were shown images of women in red and told to "Please imagine that the person in this photograph is competing against you for the attention of an attractive man." When given the opportunity later, the participants judged that the women in red were likely to cheat on their partners. However, they didn't judge that the women in red had no money, so the putting-down of women in red seems to be relationship-specific.
3. Women Guard Their Partners From Women In Red
For the third and final experiment, researchers tested for "mate guarding" explicitly. Participants were shown images of women in red and green and asked questions like "How likely would you be to introduce this person to your boyfriend?" and "How likely would you be to let your boyfriend spend time alone with this person?" Somewhat unsurprisingly (given the previous results), women were more likely to "guard" their partner from a woman in red.
So basically women think women wearing red are slutty cheaters who want to steal their men. Had I realized this, I might have thought twice before wearing this red dress (pictured) to meet an acquaintance and his wife recently. It's green for me next time, because science.
Image: © Coka / Fotolia.com, Pamela J. Stubbart / Facebook