Original article:

Red is romantic, but only for feminine females: Sexual dimorphism moderates red effect on sexual attraction

Evolutionary Psychology 12(4): 719-735 Fangfang Wen, School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, Hubei Province, PR ChinaBin Zuo, School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, Hubei Province, PR China, zuobin@mail.ccnu.edu.cnYang Wu, School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, Hubei Province, PR ChinaShan Sun, School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, Hubei Province, PR ChinaKe Liu, School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, Hubei Province, PR China

Abstract

Previous researchers have documented that the color red enhances one’s sexual attraction to the opposite sex. The current study further examined the moderating role of sexual dimorphism in red effects. The results indicated that red enhanced men’s sexual attraction to women with more feminine facial characteristics but had no effect on ratings of perceived general attractiveness. Red clothing also had a marginally significant effect on men’s sexual attractiveness. In addition, regardless of sexual dimorphism cues, male participants rated women with red as warmer and more competent. The underlying mechanisms of the red effect, the limitations of the current study, and suggestions for future directions are discussed.

Keywords

red effect, masculine, feminine, sexual attraction, perceived attractiveness

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Evolutionary Psychology - An open access peer-reviewed journal - ISSN 1474-7049 © Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young; individual articles © the author(s)
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