Does red make women sexy and men aggressive in the eyes of others ающих Scisne?
Red is considered a symbol of love and passion and at the same time is associated with aggression and danger. What is behind our perception of red - physiology or cultural traditions?
Every color has its own cultural symbolism: for example, white is the color of purity and innocence, black is sadness, mourning, grief, etc. It is clear that the connection of a particular color with some feelings, symbols, abstract concepts can be quite complex, controversial, depending on the specific cultural context, and the common person reads some of the color values more easily, some more difficult. For example, in red, not everyone sees a sign of sacrifice, however, many will say that red is an aggressive color, and will recall its love-sexual meaning even more.
Indeed, red as the color of love, passion and sex is exploited to the fullest in modern Western culture (including mass). This and innocent hearts on postcards to the day of St. Valentine, and red tight dresses on femme fatale in films and glossy magazines, and red lipstick, and, finally, the “Red Light District”. In general, it is believed that people guessed about his sexual undertone from time immemorial - thousands of years ago, women had already tinted their lips with red. But why suddenly red color had such a piquant symbolism? There can be many explanations here, from purely cultural to biological ones. For example, we can recall that to this day the females of some monkeys show their readiness for reproduction in a rather unpretentious way - their genitals turn red. It is easy to imagine that the immediate ancestor of the person had the same signal for mating, but over time, the man learned to hide his genitals under clothes, and began to use symbolic makeup as a demonstration of readiness to continue the race.
The girl in red even with her face retouched caused other women to feel jealousy as a potential rival. (Photo by Adam Pazda / University of Rochester).
However, it is quite possible that the matter is not in the genitals, but in the face. Estrogen, the level of which increases during the breeding season, dilates blood vessels and stimulates blood flow, so in females of some monkeys the readiness for mating is reflected literally on the muzzle. This version was tried to check Adam Pazda (Adam Pazda) and his colleagues from the University of Rochester, USA. Twenty-five men were shown a photo of the same girl dressed in white or red. The girl's face was indistinguishable due to retouching. Participants in the experiment were asked to evaluate how the girl is located in a romantic relationship. As expected, the red color prompted men to raise their expectations. Ready for sex girls in red was rated higher than the same girl, but in white. And the style of the dress did not play any role: tight or loose, shirt or T-shirt - in any case, the red color turned out to be more exciting.
That is, nevertheless, there is a connection with the physiology of our closest relatives, so that men who are excited at the sight of a red dress need to be aware that at this moment a distant ancestor primate awakens in them who reacted to the reddened faces of ready-to-breed females. . However, we have not for nothing mentioned the cultural context - for such evolutionary conclusions, it is necessary to put an experience in which centuries-old cultural layers would be leveled. For example, an experiment can be carried out with people of a different, non-European culture, and it is desirable to even generally affect those affected by civilization. (However, the Chinese also participated in such studies, and among them red also had obvious sex symbolism.)
On the other hand, primates were ancestors not only of men, but of our entire species as a whole. And then the question arises, how do women react to red? Does he have in their perception of sexual overtones, too? If we follow the evolutionary hypothesis further, women should look at red color with less excitement. But it turned out that for the fair sex red is associated with sensory experiences. A few years ago, psychologists found out that not only men are drawn to women in red, but vice versa - women are drawn to men with red in their clothes. Well, if another woman sees a woman in red? The new article, which Adam Pazda and his colleagues published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, describes exactly this situation.
Nearly two hundred women asked to look at the same girl, who in one case was in red, and in the other - in a white dress. Its attractiveness had to be evaluated on a 100-point scale. It turned out that women also perceive red as more sexy, although not strongly: the red dress was rated at 41 points, the white dress was rated at 49 points.
Then the conditions of the experiment changed a little. This time more than three hundred women participated in it, who were asked not only to evaluate the sexual attractiveness of a girl in white and red, but also to imagine a situation when they would have to compete with her for a man. It turned out that the red dress encourages other women to think of the other as a rival who can lead their young man away. However, the participants in the experiment did not roll over to completely negative emotions and did not begin to perceive the girl in red as a bad person.
In the third version of the experiment, women were again offered to compare two photos of a young girl - although for the third time green was chosen as the alternative to red (as opposed to white, which is considered the color of purity and innocence, green doesn’t carry such a symbolic load). Participants in the experiment were recruited from university students who were in regular heterosexual relationships. They were asked to rate how, in their opinion, the girl in red — or green — was sexually active, were they ready to introduce her young people to her, and how calm they would feel if they knew that their young people were left alone with this young lady .
The girl in red was again considered sexier than the girl in green (recall that the girl was the same, her face was retouched). In addition, she was recognized as more dangerous, she caused a feeling of jealousy, and participants in the experiment would prefer to keep their young people away from the “red dress”.
The authors of the work themselves emphasize that, first, they drew conclusions from the words of the women themselves, and it’s not a fact that they actually avoided the “girl in red” - after all, what we think is not always accurately reflected in how we behave. In addition, the conclusions in the article are made on the basis of a general analysis, that is, female distrust of another in a red dress is an average value. And again, it is not necessary that the "female red" always and under any conditions be boycotted. In the end, red color itself can depend on many factors: on the style of dress, on whether the situation has a place for romantic thoughts, etc.
Athletes in red often win. (Photo by Michael A. Keller / Corbis).
In addition, let's not forget about other associations associated with the red color - they can overlap with the sexual "note" and lead to new behavioral effects. Here you can recall the curious work performed in the mid-2000s by anthropologists from the University of Dahren, United Kingdom. They found out that in sports competitions, such as boxing, Greco-Roman wrestling, wrestling, etc., athletes wearing red more often win. And in 2008, the results of a similar study were published, the authors of which pointed to the tendency of judges to award more points to athletes in red. Both can be explained by the fact that red is also associated with aggressive behavior. In the animal kingdom, the dominant and most aggressive males are indeed often more red in color and at the same time higher testosterone levels. The other male, seeing the "especially red" opponent, will prefer to surrender; the courage and power of the red male is not questioned, even if he does not enter into a fight. It is possible that some elements of such behavioral reactions remained in humans.
And finally, we can say about two years ago the work of psychologists from the University of Basel in Switzerland, who found that people, like animals, do not trust food in red. Again, this can be found a biological justification: red - a frequent element of the coloring of poisonous animals; a predator, looking at a similar color, understands that such prey can be at least tasteless. In a person, red is often and near signals of danger: you don’t have to go far for examples, just look at the traffic lights and prohibitory signs. But here we can not forget a lot of vegetables, fruits, seasonings, wines and meat products of all shades of red, which, apparently, does not affect their gastronomic appeal. The authors themselves say that cultural influences may interfere here. In the end, the forbidden meaning of red may initially come from social rules. On the other hand, there are different shades of red: here, for example, predators eat meat, not at all frightened by its colors. In general, with the forbidden symbolism of the red color, the situation seems to be even more complicated than with its sexual symbolism, so with general conclusions you will have to wait here.
Author: Kirill Stasevich
"Science and life" What is behind our perception of red - physiology or cultural traditions?
But why suddenly red color had such a piquant symbolism?
And then the question arises, how do women react to red?
Does he have in their perception of sexual overtones, too?
Well, if another woman sees a woman in red?