Illustration for article titled Study: Women See Women in Red as a Sexual Menace

Apparently you can't wear a red cocktail dress without getting labeled a man-poaching Jezebel. Apologies to all the autumns out there.


Pacific Standard reports on a study out of the University of Rochester. First, researchers showed half their participants a woman in white, while the others saw same woman in red. Sure enough, the lady in red was considered more "sexually receptive."

For their next trick, researchers gathered up women at a Slovakian university and showed them photos of a woman in either a red or green shirt. Apparently they snapped into Loretta Lynn get-your-hands-off-my-man mode as soon as they saw the red. Because if a lady likes to bone (a big leap from a red dress to begin with), clearly she's after some homewreckin':

Afterwards, they were asked to rate not only her interest in sex, but were asked "How likely would you be to introduce this person to your boyfriend?"

Those who viewed her in the red shirt rated the woman as "more sexually receptive," and "reported stronger intentions to guard their mate from the target," the researchers report.


"It helps us make sense of other people's behavior when women are out in red and they are getting the cold shoulder from other women," the study's author helpfully explicated to ABC News. "Maybe they are giving off the perception of a romantic competitor."

Or you could take it as a testament to the enduring power of stereotypes. It's not particularly surprising that decades (hell, centuries) of cultural bombardment has had some effect. What color does Scarlett wear after she's caught canoodling with Ashley? It's not like men have any agency or responsibility, here. Sometimes women wear bright, bold colors!!! Clearly they have an AGENDA. Lock up your husbands!!!

Photo via Kate Ignatenko/Shutterstock.

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