Men who accessorize with red have sex appeal

Chris de Burgh popularized the notion of the “women in red” being sexy in his famous song but research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests he got it wrong. 

Red doesn’t give a “lady” special sex appeal but it certainly helps men.

Researchers at the University of Rochester analyzed the responses from 288 female and  25 male  undergraduates to a series of photos of guys.  The photos of the subjects being studied  kept changing the colour of their T-shirts, thanks to a little photoshop intervention.   The students had to rate the guy in terms of his date ability and general likeability.

Men wearing red were tops in terms of desireablity  

No matter the ethnic background of the student – men wearing red came up tops.

The researchers found “the red” effect made the guy seem more powerful, attractive and sexually desirable but had not effect on the overall likeablity.

The red connection only  applied to guys looking at girls or guys looking at guys.

Is this the secret to Father Christmas’ appeal  the red suit ?

Ever wondered what the world sees in Father Christmas ?   After all,  he is a geriatric overweight white dude  – on the surface this would not be particularly appealing.  

Well, if this research is correct, it might be all in the suit.  Of course, the presents probably play a significant role in the overall appeal.

What do you think ?  

Take the “red” test.  

Which one would you most prefer to hug ?  Only do the test if you would want to hug a guy.

father christmas in green v red

You probably picked the red one. 

The green Father Christmas just doesn’t seem quite as appealing.

Red appeal is it hard wired into us ?

The red appeal probably has biological roots – think red bottoms in baboons and wildlife documentaries.

In this study, most of the participants weren’t aware of their red perception.

Of course, now you know this little biological secret – it would be unscientific not to exploit it.

To improve your sex appeal and increase your chances of having a date this Valentine’s season, make sure you accessorize with red.  Red accessories to consider include a red T-shirt, a red tie or perhaps a red sports car.

Romantic Red: Red Enhances Men’s Attraction to Women.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2008) 95(5) : 1150-1164. A Elliot and D Niesta.

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