Red is commonly described as the colour of fire, danger, passion and power.
However, according to a recent study on male behaviour, a woman in red means one thing… she'll ‘put out’ on the first date.
Researchers and psychologists from the University of South Brittany, France questioned 120 male students and asked them to judge a woman’s ‘sexual intent’ based on an image of a 20-year-old woman wearing an ordinary T-shirt.
The volunteers were split into four groups and were shown an image of the woman wearing a red, blue, green or white shirt.
Each participant studied the images for 30 seconds and were asked to rate, on a scale of one to nine, how attractive she was and how likely she was to have sex on the first date.
Researchers discovered that the majority of men from the study rated the woman dressed in a scarlet-hued item of clothing, as being more likely to sleep with a man on the first date than those in white, blue and green.
“Studies have shown that red is connected to lust and romantic love as well as to female fertility,” explains a spokesperson from the study.
“For the first time, our experiment shows clothes have the ability to lead men to perceive a woman wearing a red T-shirt as having greater sexual intent than one wearing blue, white, or green.”
Or of course, a woman’s reason behind wearing red could be because… she likes the colour.
Explaining what she thinks about the study’s findings, relationship expert Dr Pam Spurr and author of Sex Academy, told HuffPost Lifestyle: I'm not surprised by this research that scarlet-clad women really do come across as ‘scarlet’ women primed for sex.
“Whether or not you intend the colours you wear to reveal intimate things about you they do! We see red as the colour of passion and daring - this holds true for our world and in the animal kingdom.
“It usually takes bags of confidence to wear red adding to this overall affect that you are both confident enough to carry off this powerful colour as well as having sexual confidence.”
Wearing a bright colour doesn’t only give men a buzz, but they can also increase confidence, says Dr Spurr.
“We can use colour to mask our true feelings. And I often recommend that if someone is feeling down-spirited, they should shed their black wardrobe and put on colours with more impact.
“It's a positive upward cycle because people respond to them differently once they’re in brighter shades. Others expect them to be more upbeat and once you feel those expectations your mood tends to rise at least a bit.”
The study's findings were published in Journal of Social Psychology.
Like a red rag to a bull it would seem the colour red also fires up the passion in women. A study at the University of Rochester asked 288 female and 25 male undergraduates to look at photos of a man in which his shirt was digitally coloured either red or another colour. Women in a variety of countries agree that the red shirt made the man appear "more powerful, attractive and sexually desirable."
Women can subconsciously sense if a man is attracted to her by the smell of his sweat, according to a study at Rice University in Texas. A group of 19 women in their twenties were exposed to two types of male sweat - one labelled 'normal' and the other 'sexual'. The normal sweat was obtained from the men while they were watching educational videos while the 'sexual' sweat was gathered while they were watching an erotic video. The women's brains were monitored while they were exposed to the sweat. The brain activity showed that they recognised and responded to the sexual sweat.
Anthropologists in New Zealand carried out studies to find the precise waist to hip ratio that drives men wild. Volunteers were asked to rate the attractiveness of images of women that had their bust, hip and waist sizes digitally altered. The eye movements of the participants were tracked using infra-red cameras. Most men were drawn to the breasts but hips and waists were also important. The most attractive ratio was the waist measuring 70% of the hips. Not surprisingly, Marilyn Monroe, Kate Moss and Jessica Alba all share this ratio.
Men with high levels of testosterone are attracted to women with highly feminine faces, a study at Aberdeen University found. A group of 70 women and 30 men underwent a series of tests to examine the role of testosterone in attraction between the sexes. It was found that attitudes towards the opposite sex changed depending on their fluctuating testosterone levels throughout the day. Researcher Dr Ben Jones, said "When men's testosterone levels were high, they were more attracted to feminine women. When women's testosterone levels were high they were more attracted to masculine men."
According to a study by Florida State University men are unconsciously attracted to a woman's scent when she is ovulating. Four female volunteers - two who were ovulating and two who were not - were asked to wear a plain white T-shirt for three consecutive nights. Male volunteers were asked to smell the T-shirts. Those who smelled the T-shirts of the ovulating women had testosterone levels 37% higher than those who smelled the T-shirts of the women who were not ovulating.
It's a long-held belief that we are naturally attracted to people that resemble ourselves. In an experiment conducted by the University of Illinois, volunteers were shown pictures of of two faces morphed together. One group was shown images of faces of strangers morphed together while the other group was shown faces that were a composite of a stranger's face and up to 45% their own face. The subjects shown images containing their own face found the picture more sexually attractive.
Contrary to the theory that we choose partners similar to ourselves and backing up the old adage 'opposites attract', scientists have found an evolutionary reason why we may be attracted to those who are genetically most different to us. A Brazilian study found tthat people are more likely to choose someone with differences in the DNA region that governs the immune system as parents with dissimilar genetic regions could provide their offspring with a better chance to ward infections off because their immune system genes are more diverse.