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We manipulated facial masculinity (masculine-morph/feminine-morph) and color (red/white) through two independent studies—one in-lab at the University of Dayton and one online using Amazon’s MTurk—to examine its effect on social status and attractiveness for men when rated by women. We specifically aimed to see if the color red could serve a compensatory effect for feminine-faced men, who were least likely to be found attractive by women at peak fertility. When paired with red, women rated the masculine and feminine faces higher in social status. Through this increase in social status, the color red was also able to indirectly increase the physical attractiveness of the men. Additionally, the sensitivity to the color red was predicted by conception risk, such that women closer to peak fertility were most attentive of the color red.

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Honors Thesis

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Erin O'Mara

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Stander Symposium poster


Arts and Humanities | Business | Education | Engineering | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Can the Color Red Improve Men’s Perceived Mate Value?: Examining the Interactive Effects of Facial Masculinity and Color on Female Evaluation of Potential Mates