Red dresses muddle men’s minds, just ask The Matrix’s Neo. In a scene from the 1999 sci-fi film, the hero is famously ambushed after becoming distracted by a woman on the street wearing a slinky red outfit. Now, a new study shows how such duds attain their sway. Men rate women wearing red clothing as being more interested in sex, hinting that humans may be conditioned to associate the color with fertility.
The pull of red is nothing new. Women have donned pinkish blush and bright lipstick for nearly 12,000 years. And, if you’re lucky enough to get a Valentine’s Day card, it will probably come decorated in tiny red hearts. It’s an effect that likely stems from biology, says Adam Pazda, a psychologist at the University of Rochester in New York state and an author of the new study. When many primate females—from chimpanzees to types of baboons called mandrills—become fertile, their estrogen levels peak, opening up their blood vessels and turning their faces bright red. This flushed complexion seems to give males the signal that it’s time to make their move.
Read the whole story: Huffington PostMore of our Members in the Media >