Friday, July 11, 2014

Red and Romantic Rivalry

Viewing another woman in red increases perceptions of sexual receptivity, derogation, and intentions to mate-guard.

Woman worker dressed in red in the Douglas Aircraft Company plant 1942

Research has shown that men perceive women wearing red, relative to other colors, as more attractive and more sexually receptive; women’s perceptions of other women wearing red have scarcely been investigated. Adam D. Pazda, Pavol Prokop and Andrew J. Elliot hypothesized that women would also interpret female red as a sexual receptivity cue, and that this perception would be accompanied by rival derogation and intentions to mate-guard. Experiment 1 demonstrated that women perceive another woman in a red, relative to white, dress as sexually receptive. Experiment 2 demonstrated that women are more likely to derogate the sexual fidelity of a woman in red, relative to white. Experiment 3 revealed that women are more likely to intend to guard their romantic partner from a woman wearing a red, relative to a green, shirt. These results suggest that some color signals are interpreted similarly across sex, albeit with associated reactions that are sex-specific.

Adam D. Pazda, Pavol Prokop, and Andrew J. Elliot: Red and Romantic Rivalry: Viewing Another Woman in Red Increases Perceptions of Sexual Receptivity, Derogation, and Intentions to Mate-Guard. Pers Soc Psychol Bull 0146167214539709, first published on July 11, 2014 doi:10.1177/0146167214539709