Tuesday, October 28th — Red

October 29, 2008

Today I Learned…

…that wearing red can boost a woman’s sex appeal.

I guess we’ve all heard of that theoretical/clichéd pinnacle of womanhood, the “woman in the red dress.”  Well, it seems that there might be something to that — and why she’s not in a green dress, like I thought she should be.  According to a study from the University of Rochester (they have nothing better to do — it’s Rochester), heterosexual men with normal color vision rated the same woman 1.25 points higher on average on a 7-point sexiness scale, “with 1 being the least sexy and 7 being a white-hot sex goddess.”

First of all, please tell me that quote was actually in the operational definition of sexy.  Second of all… well, there’s really no second of all.  I just want that to actually be how they defined it, word for word.

The CNN.com writer, like any “good” science “journalist,” goes on to ask ridiculous questions which have nothing to do with the data in an attempt to lengthen their article.  “That’s nice, but given the looming election, one might wonder: Does wearing red make you more attractive in the voting booth too?”  Give me a break.  Just once I want a science writer for a mainstream media outlet to not make a fool of themselves talking to a researcher.  It’s not that it’s not a valid question — there’s a ton of money out there in the political realm to try to make candidates look better on TV with different color ties and whatnot, and it’s taken on a whole new importance and scale with the emergence of the modern female major party candidate in Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.  The problem is that there’s nothing in the data that could even begin to suggest a link there, and trying to force a scientist into making an irresponsible leap like that is questionable at best.

The researcher does go on to say that they measured what other effects the color red may have, and… “[they] only found the effect for attraction, so males don’t rate females in red as more intelligent, more likable, or as having a better personality; they only rate her as sexier and more attractive.”

I guess what I take away from this is the following: all you smart, awkwardly sexy girls out there?  Keep wearing green and I’ll still drool, you white-hot sex goddesses you.

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One Response to “Tuesday, October 28th — Red”

  1. dichotomousmind Says:

    Why 7 points, though? Odd. Also, did they try to work out why this is the case? I mean, it could be a learned thing, or it could be something hardwired.

    Red does some powerful things for sex appeal, I suppose, but black’s the real draw for overall attractiveness.


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