Are women more likely to wear red and pink at peak fertility? What about on cold days? Conceptual, close, and extended replications with novel clothing colour measures

Liana S.E. Hone, Michael E. McCullough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Evolutionarily minded researchers have hypothesized that women advertise their ovulatory status by wearing red or pink clothing on relatively cold days. Many of these studies have been based on samples of women who have self-reported their clothing choices, a practice that raises questions about accuracy. In two studies, we evaluated the relationship between women’s fertility and their clothing choices using four methods for measuring clothing colour: self-reports; trained raters’ judgements of garment coloration in outfits that women drew onto mannequins to represent what they would wear to a party with single attractive people in attendance; automated colour coding of the mannequins; and trained raters’ judgements of garment coloration as evinced in photographs that women took of themselves. Using these four measures of clothing choice along with measures of women’s fertility and outside temperature, we did not find compelling evidence that women are particularly inclined to wear red or pink during peak fertility, even on relatively cold days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • clothing coloration
  • menstrual cycle
  • ovulation
  • peak fertility
  • replication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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