Throughout history, the color red has long been synonymous with love, passion, and desire. Now scientists may be able to explain why the crimson hue really is special when it comes to love, and how the color can play a subconscious role when initially attracting someone you may be interested in.
According to research from the University of Rochester, when a man sees a woman in red, he is immediately and unconsciously influenced by the color to find her more attractive. Researchers at the university found simply wearing the color red, or even being bordered by the color, makes a woman more sexually desirable to men. What is even more fascinating is that men are completely oblivious to this arousing effect. In one of the studies men were shown pictures of women who were wearing red or, framed by red in the picture border, and then later, shown pictures of the same women wearing a different color than red, or not framed by red, and the men significantly rated the women wearing red, or framed by red, more attractive and sexually desirable than the same exact women not wearing red.
Similarly, researchers at the University of Rochester conducted studies on women and found the same results to be true for men when it comes to wearing the vibrant color. The researchers believe when a woman sees a man in red, she sees him as higher status, having more money, and is instinctively more attracted to him.
Researchers at the University of British Colombia in Canada found women at high conception risk were also over three times likely to wear red or pink than women at low conception risk. “The likelihood of dressing in red or pink clothing increases for women during peak fertility.” (Beall & Tracy, 2013). The scientists believe biology may be the reasoning behind this because non-human primate females often display red in an observable way when they become fertile in the attempt to attract a mate.
There are many theories as to why red seems to have a subconscious influence over our behavior, but researchers seem to think it has mostly to do with our biology. In non-human primates like gelada baboons, red is an indicator of male dominance and is expressed most intently in alpha males. The gelada baboon females choose to mate more often with the alpha males than the other males. Similarly, non-human male primates are also very attracted to females who display red.
It may be difficult to believe wearing a particular color can have such a subconscious influence over us without even realizing it, but science seems to indicate this is the case. The next time you have a date, or you are going out looking for someone special, why not wear something red and put the theory to the test for yourself. by Emily G.