The Allure of Red

“I’ve never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance,
They’re looking for a little romance, given half the chance” — lyrics to “Lady in Red” by Chris De Burgh

“The Lady in Red” has been the title of two songs as well as two movies. It would appear that the color can make an impression…and now there’s research suggesting just why it’s so appealing. According to a new study, men believe that when women are wearing the color red, they are more interested in sex.

This research, conducted at the University of Rochester in New York, suggests that the color red and its affect on men’s sexual attraction to women lies in our evolutionary origins and traditional human mating behavior.1 Our direct ancestors of the female primate variety flush red in the face when they reach fertility. That’s right, when chimpanzees and certain baboons are ovulating, their estrogen levels rise and the blood vessels in their faces dilate. This hormonal reaction causes their faces to turn a lovely shade of crimson. And a red face signals the males in the community that the female is ready for sex. And for those who don’t believe in evolution, you can just say that it’s part of the natural order of human mating habits. In any case, I know guys back in high school and college who would have given anything to get that clear a signal from the girls they were dating. And perhaps they did… >


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