Conceived and designed the experiments: In many non-human primate species, a display of red by a female serves as a sexual signal to attract male conspecifics. Red is associated with sex and romance in humans, and women convey their sexual interest to men through a variety of verbal, postural, and behavioral means.
In the present research, investigate whether female red ornamentation in non-human primates has a human analog, whereby women use a behavioral display of red to signal their sexual interest to men. Three studies tested the hypothesis that women use red clothing to communicate sexual interest to men in profile pictures on dating websites. In Study 1, women who imagined being interested in casual sex were more likely to display red but not other colors on Dras online dating anticipated web profile picture.
In Study 2, women who indicated interest in casual sex were more likely to prominently display red but not other colors on their actual web profile picture. In Study 3, women on a website dedicated to facilitating casual sexual relationships were more likely to prominently exhibit red but not other colors than women on a website dedicated to facilitating marital relationships. These results establish Dras online dating provocative parallel between women and non-human female primates in red signal coloration in the mating game.
This research shows, for the first time, a functional use of color in women's sexual self-presentation, and highlights the need to extend research on color beyond physics, physiology, and preference to psychological functioning.
Females in many primate species, such as baboons and chimpanzees, display red on their body e. Primatologists believe that this red ornamentation is a sexual signal designed to attract mates and indeed male conspecifics respond to female red with increased masturbation and copulation attempts . In the present research, we examine whether this female red ornamentation has an analog in humans, whereby women use a behavioral display of red to send a sexual signal to
Dras online dating. Recent research suggests that red is an aphrodisiac for men viewing women.
Men viewing women on a red background or in red clothing relative to other chromatic and achromatic backgrounds and clothing find them more attractive and sexually desirable, intend to spend more money on them, and choose to sit closer to them  — .
Although this research indicates that men interpret red on a woman as a sexual signal, it is mute with regard to Dras online dating accuracy of this interpretation. Men are commonly portrayed as the initiators of sexually-oriented communication, but research shows that women are also very active, especially in the initial stages of courtship i.
Women convey sexual interest to men through various overt and covert means, including verbal flirtation, establishing and maintaining eye contact, provocative body posturing, suggestive dancing, and wearing revealing clothing  — .
Here we posit that women use red clothing to communicate their sexual interest to men. These societal uses of red are posited to emerge from and extend a biologically-engrained propensity, shared with our primate relatives, to link red and sex . Women may exploit this red-sex link in intersexual interaction by wearing red when seeking to signal sexual receptivity.
Dras online dating
Our research comprises three studies designed to examine women's use of red
Dras online dating communicate sexual interest in picture profiles on dating websites. Web dating is both mainstream and burgeoning, with approximately 20 million users per month and women using these websites are typically deeply invested in catching and holding the attention of potential mates . All of the research reported herein was approved by the University of Rochester Institutional Review Board.
Participants in Study 1 were recruited via the World Wide Web and were provided modest monetary compensation for their participation; all gave informed consent and were treated in accordance with the ethical standards expressed in the Declaration of Helsinki.
The pictures coded in Studies 2 "Dras online dating" 3 were randomly selected from web profiles within the Internet's public Dras online dating. We registered for the websites to collect frequency information and compute summary data that retained the anonymity of all users; we did not subscribe to the services of any website, create any new profiles, or in any way engage in deception in conducting this research.
Our initial, preliminary, investigation was a scenario study about women's behavior on a dating website. We examined whether women who imagined being interested in casual sex would be more likely to display red but not other colors on their anticipated web profile picture.
One hundred and one females participated on the world wide web in exchange for a Dras online dating cash payment. The mean age of participants was Participant ethnicity was as follows: Participation was restricted to self-reported heterosexual and bisexual individuals.
Participants followed a web link to gain access to the experiment. A welcome screen indicated that the experiment was about self-presentation on the internet and would consist of reading a scenario about joining a dating website, followed by completion of a brief questionnaire. The scenarios were as follows the casual sex condition included the parenthetical information; the control condition did not:. Imagine that you are interested in casual sex Dras online dating a guy.
You decide to join a dating website because you have heard "Dras online dating" it is a good way to find a guy for this Dras online dating of relationship. The website allows you to post one picture, and you decide to take a picture of yourself using your cell phone. The questionnaire that followed contained items asking participants how they would pose for the picture. Red the color of central interestblack a highly fashionable color for adultsblue adults' most preferred color in generalor green the opposite of red in many well-established color models.
Participants selected one of the four colors. The other items, which preceded the color item, were: Participants responded to both items on a 1 not "Dras online dating" all to 9 extremely scale. Upon completing the questionnaire, participants were informed that the experiment was over.
Our primary analysis tested whether women in the casual sex condition were more likely to choose red than women in the control condition. However, these ancillary logistic regressions are not independent of the primary analysis focused on red, nor from each other, because choosing one color necessarily entails not choosing any of the other colors.
Accordingly, we conducted supplementary analyses to address this independence issue. Specifically, we conducted three orthogonal chi-square analyses using Helmert contrasts  with the following weights for red, black, blue, and green, respectively: Only the first contrast, which represented the comparison of central interest red vs. Finally, all of the color results reported above remained the same i.
Study 2 tested whether the results from Study 1 would be borne out in women's actual behavior on a dating website. Specifically, we investigated whether women who indicated an interest in casual sex would be more likely to prominently display red but not other colors on their web profile picture. We made no assumptions regarding the initial reason that Dras online dating photograph in question was taken; we simply predicted that women interested in casual sex would be more likely to select and display a photograph of themselves in red for their profile picture.
We randomly selected female profiles from a popular dating website. Inclusion criteria were as follows: Profiles satisfying these criteria were displayed by the website randomly; we selected the first that indicated interest in casual sex and the first that did not. Two individuals, blind to hypothesis and predictor variable, used separate computer monitors to code the most prominent clothing color on each profile picture. The four colors focused on in Study 1 were coded: Our primary analysis tested whether women indicating an interest in casual sex were more likely to prominently display red in their profile picture than women not indicating such interest.
As in Study 1, we conducted supplementary analyses to address the independence issue raised by the ancillary analyses; we used the same chi-square analyses and Helmert contrasts used in the prior study. Most profile owners who indicated interest in casual sex also indicated interest in additional types of relationships e. All of the results reported above remained the same i. Finally, all of the results reported above remained the same when including age as Dras online dating covariate ethnicity information was not available on enough profiles to warrant retrieval.
Study 3, like Study 2, focused on women's actual behavior on a dating website. Here we Dras online dating to conceptually replicate Study 2 using a different operationalization of interest in casual sex — type of dating website. We randomly selected female profiles from a website overtly dedicated to facilitating sexual relationships coded 1 ; this website emphasizes casual sexual encounters, one night stands, and swinging.
In contrast, we also selected female profiles from a website overtly dedicated to facilitating serious, long-term relationships coded 0 ; this website emphasizes love, marriage, commitment.
Inclusion criteria were comparable to Study 2, with one exception. Both websites in the current study required entering a zip code to browse profiles, which were then sorted in order of proximity to the zip code selected.
We selected the New York City zip code,because of the city's ethnically diverse population. The color coding was identical to Study 2 and focused on the same colors. Our primary analysis tested whether women on the sex-focused website would be more likely to prominently display red in their profile picture than women on the marriage-focused site.
As in Studies 1 and 2, we conducted supplementary analyses to address the independence issue raised by the ancillary analyses; again, we used the same chi-square analyses and Helmert contrasts used in the prior studies. Given that age had no impact on
Dras online dating results of Studies 1 and 2, it was not retrieved in this study; ethnicity information was not available on either website. Our results clearly link women's red displays on dating websites to their interest in sex.
Red was not the most common color worn by women interested in sex; black remained most popular for these women. However, when women did display red, the odds were much over two times greater that they were interested in sex than not. Given that men have a well-documented hyper-readiness to impute sexual intent to women's behavior we hasten to add that not all women wearing red are interested in sex.
Our findings are probabilistic and must be interpreted and applied accordingly. The present research establishes a parallel between human and non-human female primates in their use of red to communicate sexual availability.