Hey you, Cards fan. Yeah, you, the guy in the red shirt that's straining a little at the belly, holding a can of Budweiser. You are sexier than you thought you were! Well, OK, you're sexier than Cubs fans! Let this be a consolation to you, now that they took two out of three in last weekend's series.
Andrew Elliot, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, has proven definitively, in a series of studies, that men are more attractive and sexually desirable to women if they wear red.
"We found that women view men in red as higher in status, more likely to make money and more likely to climb the social ladder," Elliot said in a press release. "And it's this high-status judgment that leads to the attraction."
Elliot came to this conclusion after analyzing the responses of 288 female and 25 male undergraduates in four different countries (the U.S., England, Germany and China) to a series of photos of men wearing shirts in different colors: red, gray, green and blue. The students had to answer a battery of questions about each photo along the lines of, "How attractive to you think this person is?" and "Would you sleep with this person?"
The color red only affected the answers to questions relating to power or sex. Men in red shirts were considered more powerful and sexually attractive, but not any more likable or kind. (Hm. Now where does this leave you, Cards fans? And what to make of this after last week's brawl against the Reds?)
Strangely, only women reported these feelings about men in red. Color did not appear to affect the responses of gay men at all.
"When women see red it triggers something deep and probably biologically ingrained," said Elliot. "We say in our culture that men act like animals in the sexual realm. It looks like women may be acting like animals in the same sort of way."
Elliot's earlier research has shown that men are more attracted to women who wear red. (It goes back to the biological imperative: female baboons in heat have red asses.) But, more to the point, Elliot has also proven that red acts like kryptonite in competitive situations like, say, baseball games.
In other words, an out-of-town baseball team (especially one which happens to be the home team's biggest rival) facing a stadium full of screaming people in red shirts is ultimately doomed to failure.
Then again, given last weekend, this theory may need some fine-tuning.
Daily RFT actually tried to contact Elliot to ask for insights into the Cubs-Cards rivalry based on uniforms and preferred fan t-shirt colors, but perhaps he thought we were prank-calling him, because he never responded to our voice messages.