A new study suggests women see a woman in red as a sexual menace.
A research team led by University of Rochester psychologist Adam Pazda conducted three experiments on two different continents that provide the evidence. “Our results suggest that women perceive and behave toward other women in red as if these other women are actively advertising” their openness to sex, he wrote according to the Pacific Standard.
In the first experiment, 196 women recruited online looked at a photo of a moderately attractive woman in her late 20s, the Standard reports. Half saw the woman wearing a white dress, the others saw a nearly identical image of the woman in a red dress.
Then the participants responded to a series of statements, such as “This person is interested in sex.” The woman in red was seen as more sexually receptive by the participants, whether or not they were in a committed relationship.
Here are some examples:
Rihanna in red — apparently about to steal someone’s man:
Rihanna in white — not a threat at all:
Kate Middleton, super threatening in red:
Kate Middleton in white — definitely not interested in sex:
In another experiment, 143 women at two Slovakian universities looked at a photo of a woman in her 20s wearing either a red or green shirt. The participants then rated her interest in sex and indicated whether they would be likely to introduce the woman to their boyfriend.
The participants who saw the woman in a red shirt rated her as more receptive to sex and “reported stronger intentions to guard their mate from the target,” the Standard reports.
Katy Perry in red — look out.
Katy Perry in green — eh.
Importantly, the researchers pointed out “not all women displaying red are actively advertising sexual availability.”
So not ALL of these women are advertising sexual availability.