Monday, July 14, 2014

Women Wearing Red or Pink

Recent research suggests that wearing a red or pink dress or shirt can be provocative for women.  First of all, it may unwittingly signal to others that she is in her most fertile part of the menstrual cycle.  (Unlike in several other mammalian species, there is no obvious sign of this time of the month.)  However, Beall and Tracy (2013) found that women are three times more likely to wear red or pink clothing at that time of the month in which they might become pregnant.

Additionally, men are more likely to view her as receptive to amorous activity and possibly a pushover.

Finally, according to research by Pazda and his associates (2014), wearing red or pink garb might put other women on the defensive.  When they see their husband or boyfriend talking with someone wearing red or pink, they are more likely to derogate her later and engage in mate-guarding strategies.

Derogation can take many forms: finding fault with her looks, casting aspersions on her morals, or even ridiculing her intelligence.  Mate-guarding strategies can include hovering by, clinging, or even employing physical means (in some rougher settings).

Do women see the lady in red or pink as a potential mate poacher?  Evidence suggests that they do.

This effect might be multiplied if the red or pink wearer is blonde or is sexily dressed.  Would it be strategically advantageous to wear blue or black?  It depends on what ends one has in mind.


Linda Kay Christensen said...

Oh, my...I will definitely think twice again about wearing or viewing someone else wearing red. Not sure it has ever occurred to me, but them some of our behaviors are not pre-meditated, right? Thanks!

TexWisGirl said...


Bilbo said...

If you're not familiar with the great Chris de Burgh song "The Lady in Red," check it out: And as for wearing red, I don't have studies to cite, but how does this relate to red as a power color for men (red tie with a gray suit, for example)? Does it reflect a readiness to spill blood, as opposed to a female symbol of fertility or sexual openness? Hmmm ...

Duckbutt said...

There was an old Kelly LeBrock movie entitled The Woman in Red.

MarkD60 said...

High school poem:
Woman in red,
good in bed.

Grand Crapaud said...

The color red is definitely attention-getting. Red car get ticketed more often because their are perceived as being more likely to speed. Or maybe they do. Can that apply to women in red too?

Mike said...

This information comes about 50 years too late.

Cloudia said...

You have the penetration and passion of a good researcher!
"Where do hypothesis come from?"
"No one knows."
Find a passion for operationalizing your conjectures and you have some fun, important, authentic work ahead of you. Unless of course you decide to spend your time doing more immediate and even funner things!

ALOHA from Honolulu
=^..^= <3

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

So, basically, if she is wearing red, be sure to use a rubber?

Anemone said...

Wear a red bikini, and you will be noticed!