…on Valentine’s Day – Red is for winners (and also for lovers). From the red used in ancient rituals to today’s red hearts on Valentine’s Day, the rosy hue has been tied to carnal passions and romantic love across cultures and millennia. Now scientists have demonstrated that the color red makes men feel more amorous toward women (but men are unaware this).

Psychologist Andrew Elliot says, “It’s fascinating to find that something as ubiquitous as color can be having an effect on our behavior without our awareness.”

Although this aphrodisiacal effect of red may be a product of societal conditioning alone, the authors argue that men’s response to red more likely stems from deeper biological roots. Research has shown that nonhuman male primates are particularly attracted to females displaying red. Female baboons and chimpanzees, for example, redden conspicuously when nearing ovulation, sending a clear sexual signal designed to attract males.

Elliot says, “Our research demonstrates a parallel in the way that human and nonhuman male primates respond to red. In doing so, our findings confirm what many women have long suspected and claimed?that men act like animals in the sexual realm. As much as men might like to think that they respond to women in a thoughtful, sophisticated manner, it appears that at least to some degree, their preferences and predilections are, in a word, primitive.”

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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