Red Makes Women More Desirable to Men

Oct 22, 2009 • News, Research

A study by researchers Andrew Elliot and Daniela Niesta in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that the color red increases desire in men for women astronomically–completely unrelated to a female’s appearance.

How? Participants in the study were asked to rate black-and-white pictures of women–some of these were shown on a red background and others in other colors.

The graph below, from Psychology Today’s Daniel R. Hawes, illustrates the significant difference between how much more attractive men found women whose images were presented on a red background than they did images of women presented on green.


“A plausible hypothesis for the effect is that there is an overlap of the evolutionary meaning of red for the male mind as well as the learned cultural association,” writes Hawes. Meaning it’s probably a mixture of biology and the connotation red has taken on culturally.

Thumbnail image by The Heart Truth.