Red Seen as a Female Sexual Signal to Men

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

What signals do women send by the colors they wear?

According to research published by Andrew Elliot (University of Rochester), when a woman wears red, she sends out a clear signal she’s more interested in sex than if she wears a neutral tone.

As part of his investigation, Elliot showed heterosexual and bisexual men a picture of a woman and asked them to rate her attractiveness. Half the men saw the woman wearing a red shirt, while the other half saw the exact same woman wearing a white shirt.

The men who saw the woman in the red shirt said she was more interested in sex than the men who saw the woman wearing the white shirt.

Elliot conducted a similar experiment with a red shirt and a green shirt, once more finding the woman wearing the red shirt was seen as more attractive, suggesting it isn’t simply color that attracts men, but specifically the color red.


“The men who saw the woman in the red

shirt said she was more interested in sex.”

Elliot links the color red to sexual receptivity in mammals. Elliot explains the color red has a biological basis in sexual receptivity, ranging from blushing cheeks to swollen lips to aroused genitals.

To further strengthen this conclusion, Elliot tested and found men were most interested in women who were perceived as openly receptive to sexual advances, rather than women who were simply seen as good looking or likable.

As study researcher Adam Pazda concluded:

“Red leads to attractiveness precisely because it first leads to perceived sexual receptivity. It is receptivity that is ‘driving the bus’ for the red-attraction relation.”

Men like women who they find as sexually receptive, and wearing red appears to be a clear way to signal just that.

Source: Photo source:

Advertiser Disclosure is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.