Study: Women in red spur female rivalries

Men aren't the only ones gawking at women in red, other women do too.

But for different reasons. A woman in red can provoke sexual rivalry in women, researchers say.

For one, a woman wearing red sets off “mate-guard” impulses in other women, the study shows. And yes, the woman is less likely to introduce a woman in red to her boyfriend or spouse.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Rochester, Trnava University in Slovakia and the Slovak Academy of Sciences, was published Friday in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 

In one experiment, female volunteers were shown an image of a woman, judged to be “moderately attractive,” wearing a strapless dress that was digitally colored either red or white.

They were asked to assess the woman on a scale, based solely on the picture, on whether she was interested in sex.

Though not by a large margin, the women who were shown the red dress photo judged the woman as more sexually receptive.

The women were then asked to imagine they were competing with the woman in the photo for the attention of an attractive man.

They were asked to answer on a sliding scale from “yes, definitely,” to “no, not at all,” whether they thought the woman in the photo would cheat on a man or whether she thought the woman had money.

Those presented with the photo of the woman in red were significantly more inclined to say that she would be unfaithful.

Researchers were careful to highlight that “not all women displaying red are necessarily signaling sexual receptivity.” 

Source: Washington Post