Female Hitchhikers Wearing Red Are More Likely To Be Picked Up (By Men)
Female hitchhikers and male drivers: The “lady in red” effect.
Posted May 01, 2011
In today's post, I'd like to report the findings of a more recent study by Guéguen, in the same spirit as the aforementioned one, wherein he manipulated the color of T-shirts worn by female hitchhikers to see whether this variable might affect the likelihood of being picked up (by male or female drivers). The theoretical rationale in this case is that men respond favorably to the color red in part because it mimics various elements of female sexual arousal. Several studies, most notably those by Andrew Elliot at the University of Rochester, have demonstrated this "red effect." Incidentally, in my forthcoming trade book due out shortly (The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal About Human Nature), I discuss the distinct effects of the color red in the contexts of intersexual wooing versus intrasexual rivalry. Returning to Guéguen's study, here are the key findings:
That red serves as an attractant color for men manifests itself in the ubiquity of using red for some beautification products such as red lipstick, red lingerie, and red stilettos.
Note to the thought police: I realize that to not be "sexist" or "ageist", I should not have chosen a teaser image of a beautiful young woman. Instead, to demonstrate the "red effect" I should have used an image of an elderly man solving a system of differential equations using a red pen. Ah well, you can't please all the people all of the time.