Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
Since scantily cladding is sometimes believed to be the cause to sexual harassment, it is necessary to find out whether they are related, and if so, how they are related. When discussing the relationship between scantily cladding and sexual harassment, the key element is the emotional response that clothing sends out from women to men.Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
This study set an experiment to find out how different aspects –including exposed skin, color, and style –of women clothing can effect young adult men’s emotion, then analyzed the experiment result in psychological and social sectors. The result of the experiment indicates a strong relationship between the men’s emotion and certain clothing style. It was found that men are more attracted to exposed upper front body, relatively short dress, warm color, tight clothes and traditional female profession uniforms. It was also found that women who wear low saturation color clothes are thought to be weak and can be teased without worrying about revenge, thus put themselves in danger. The research of the relationship between color and human psychology explains the men’s romance preference in warm color, especially red is based on animal instinct. The study also analyzed the uniform appreciation in the “observational learning” theory.Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
The study confirmed that the women’s clothing can be the cause of men’s sexualarousal, and may also be negative stimulus to men’s moral sense. These findings provide a base for further research on relationship between scantily cladding and sexual harassment.
Key words: clothing, emotional response, sexual harassment, exposed skin, color
Sexual harassment is the assault behavior with sex suggestions that happened in public or private situation, from one person to the other, including verbal assault, touching, etc. Dressing style is the general idea of elements of clothing, including color, tightness, uniforms etc. The former research has tried to relate the men’s behavior with the women’s clothing style, but all of them failed to define “sexy look” or compare the looks of women. One detailed research has related the red and men’s sexual arousal but did not explain the reason of that phenomenon.
The participants are the healthy male adults in Tianjin University, ranging in age from 18 to 28, who is considered to be able to receive the visual signal and give feedback. The experiment randomly interviewed 200 men, among which there are 180 valid questionnaires.Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
In the experiment, the participants viewed several pictures and were asked to answer a few questions. The pictures were downloaded from the internetï¼Œespecially from shopping website, and then for privacy and accuracy reason, the Photoshop software was used to erase the background and blank the models’ faces of all pictures. Then the pictures were showed to the participants. In the most time, the participants are asked to pick pictures that can conform to questions. The experiment was divided into five parts.
In the first part, the three pictures are all of a same model, wearing tight white dresses; the three dresses exposed different part of her body. Then we asked the participants to choose the most attractive one.
In the second part, the same model in the pictures wears white dresses that differ in lengths. The lengths of the four dresses in the pictures are thirty centimeters above the knees, ten centimeters above the knees, ten centimeters below the knees and thirty centimeters below the knees. The participants are asked to choose two pictures that they find attractive.Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
In the third part, the photos are processed by Photoshop software to change the color of the girl’s dress. The original color is yellow, then the color of the dress was changed in heu, brightness and saturation, each measurement is a group and has four photos. The participants were asked to choose one photo from each group that they find attractive. Then they are asked to choose one photo from each group that they think the women in the picture is weak, the reason of thinking so was also asked.
In the fourth part, the photos are all of a same model wearing different style dresses. The dresses differ in tightness. The participants are asked to choose from two pictures the women they find attractive. In one picture the model wears a lose black dress, in the other picture, the model wears a tight black dress.
In the fifth part, the pictures are different uniforms, including police uniform, army uniform, nurse uniform, doctor uniform, cook uniform and stewardess uniform. Participants were asked to choose the uniforms that they find most attractive and least attractive.Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
More than 50% participants chose the exposed chest as the most attractive photo.
The breast, as a secondary sex characteristic of women, has a shape a lot like pygal, and also a symbol of estrogen level. In the ancient times, the human ancestors always use doggy style pose to intercourse. During the intercourse, pygal is the body part men would see. Breasts are the front side version of pygal, which allows the men to evaluate the women’s fertility when they meet. Also, the shape of breasts indicates the women’s age, health condition and nutritional state, which are crucial elements for an ancient man to choose his mate, because the woman’s body condition will affect their descendants. This tendency has been in human’s brain for thousands of years and has been inherited till today.Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
Less than 10% participants chose the exposed back as the most attractive photo.
Back is an important part of human body, but not a key element in mate choosing. Still, Straight spinal column, smooth skin and well structured muscles can tell a man that a woman is in good body situation and can raise children by her own. The health condition is always an important element in mate choosing, so the exposed back is still attractive to some participants, but the other exposed body parts will do the back’s work just as well.
30% participants chose the exposed legs to be the most attractive photo.Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
Legs are a large part of body. From the ancient times, long legs are considered to be beautiful and attractive; this norm has never been doubt. This norm is determined by the living state of ancient human. Archeologists find out that most unnatural death of ancient human was death caused by wounds of their back side of head, like a scratch or a bite. This finding indicates that the ancient human were living in dangerous environment and always need to run to escape from predictors. Long legs give a person the ability to run away from cruel and deadly attacks so long legs are even more important than strong body for a person to survive. In this case, it is no surprise that men tended to choose women with long legs and are attracted by exposed legs.Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
In this part of experiment, the leg was chose to be the part for quantitative experiment because it is more measurable than upper front body and gains more importance in the qualitative experiment than the back. We put the model in the same scale and measured the length of the dresses. The result of the experiment was predicted that the shorter the dress is, the more attractive the picture will be to the participants.Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
The result of the experiment is consistent with the prediction.
Among 180 participants, 81 of them chose the shortest dress to be the most attractive one, while only 6 of them chose the longest one.
The experiment find out that participants prefer women in warm tune than in cold tune. The woman in red dress is considered to be the most attractive women by most participants, nearly 40%.Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
The picture of the women who wears the second most saturated color dress is favored by most participants, which is 156 out of 180.
The differences in brightness did not cause obvious change in participants answer.
The men’s favor on warm color can be traced back to the barbarian time when the people still lived in the jungle. In the nature, very few plants are in warm color, while human body is always in warm color, so warm color is a kind of distinction between human and nature. When a man was searching for a woman in the field, he would subconsciously search for warm color. The favor in red is also explicable. Women use red as a signal to show that their bodies are ready to intercourse. During the flush of sexual interest, the blood capillary of the face, neck and upper chest burst and the blood in it creates the red color the others see. Also, red lip is the sigh of a healthy body condition, another attractive figure to men.
The participants’ favor of the second most saturated color can be explained this way: the less saturate the color is, the less emotional message it coveys. The most saturated color sends out too many emotional message that makes it aggressive, while the less saturated color is too pale make the women unapproachable. Only the second most saturated color sends out mild message and makes people feel safe and touchable. Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
No obvious tendency has been should.
The third most saturated color picture has been chose to be the “weakest” photo by 60% participants, and the second most saturated color picture had 30% votes.
The brightest color has been chose to be the “weakest” photo by 50% participants, and the least bright color also got 30% votes.
The color’s saturation is highly related to its impact of people. The more saturated the color, the stronger information it sends out, which could be considered as aggressive, confident or willful. This kind of emotional massage, will make the woman dressed in it looks confident and tough, so even she is beautiful, the man that is attracted to her may still worry about potential revenge and flinch from harassing her.
Bright color makes people feel safe and relax, and is more feminine than darker color. In the ancient times, men go out to hunt food, everything they saw are in dark and dirty color. Only after they come back to the cave, they can see bright color such as women and babies. As time passes, the bright color was related to safe, relax and effeminate concepts. Therefore, if a woman is dressed in bright color, she may sends out a message that says she is weak and fragile, so men may tease her. Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
3.1 Loose and tight
The tightness experiment is essentially about whether the revealed body shape is more attractive to men or the covered body shape is more fancy stirring. The shape of the body plays an important role in mate choosing, so the hypothesis of the experiment is that the participants would favor the women in the tight dress instead of the women in the loose dress.
The result of the experiment is consistent with the prediction.
More than 54% participants chose the tightly dressed women to be the more attractive one.
Ranking from high to low, the uniforms that promote men’s interest are: nurse uniform, stewardess uniform, doctor uniform, army uniform, police uniform and then cook uniform.
Ranking from high to low, the uniforms that decrease men’s interest are: army uniform, police uniform, cook uniform, doctor uniform, nurse uniform and then stewardess uniform. Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
To analyze the experiment data as a whole, we can see that the traditional female job uniforms are much more welcomed than the male job uniforms. This phenomenon can be explained in the “observational learning” theory. A man living in the society will be able to see things every day; this step is called “observation”. Then, he will connect his observation result with definitions he already knew, so the symbol and the concept are related in this way. This step is called study. When a man sees a police uniform or a army uniform, the person wearing it is always a man, so this observational study experience make him connect these uniforms with the concept of men. This kind of observational study experiences occur repeatedly and strengthen the connection. So when this man sees a police uniform, it is normal that he is not attracted because he subconsciously related them to his same sex. Participants’ favor on the traditional female job uniforms can also be explained in this theory by in opposite direction. Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
To analyze the data more specifically, we can see the least attractive uniform, the cook uniform, is not the most frustrating uniform. Instead, it is the third frustrating uniform. The reason may be that the cook uniform is too loose and hide the woman’s body, so the participants cannot see how attractive the woman really is, so the uniform is the least attractive one. However, as cook is a work that does not have very specific gender definition, men also did not find it very frustrating. On the contrary, the army uniform, especially the female version, revealed the woman’s body shape, so many participants found her beautiful, but as it is also related to male concept, it is still the most frustrating uniform according to the experiment.
This paper has discussed the relationship between the women clothing and the emotional response that men feedback.
This study set an experiment to find out how different aspects –including exposed skin, color, and style –of women clothing can effect young adult men’s emotion, then analyzed the experiment result in psychological and social sectors.
The study introduced a new method of experiment in this topic, and then showed the data in diagram. The discussing part analyzed the result both generally and specifically. The study dug deep into human nature to disclose the hidden features that affect men’s mentalities. Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
The study showed that human nature decided that men are more interested in breast, long, exposed legs and warm color. The research in psychology showed how the three measurements of color, heu, brightness and saturation can affect a woman’s glamour and show different personality. The observational study theory in social psychology area explains how men’s tastes on uniforms are formed in a certain society.
The study confirmed that the women’s clothing can be the cause of men’s sexual arousal, and may also be negative stimulus to men’s moral sense. These findings provide a base for further research on relationship between scantily cladding and sexual harassment.
The study has some obvious limitations. Only 180 participants are concluded in the experiment, which make the sample not strong enough. The experiment may also be affected by the participants’ honesty, for example, the participants may be ashamed of telling the interviewers that their favorite women is the most exposed one, this kind of problem may make the data invalid.
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 Nicolas Guéguen (2012) Color and Women Attractiveness: When Red Clothed Women Are Perceived to Have More Intense Sexual Intent The Journal of Social Psychology, 2012, 152(3), 261–265
 Anouk Festjens (2014) Women Too Respond to Sexual Cues by Taking More Risks Harvard Business Review April 2014
 Andrew J. Elliotï¼ŒTobias Greitemeyer, Adam D. Pazda (2013) Women’s use of red clothing as a sexual signal in intersexual interaction Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 49 (2013) 599–602. Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay
 Valdez Patricia; Mehrabian Albert (1994) Effects of color on emotions Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Vol 123(4), Dec 1994, 394-409.
 Arndt, William B.; Foehl, John C.; Good, F. Elaine (1985) Specific sexual fantasy themes: A multidimensional study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 48(2), Feb 1985, 472-480. Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Clothing Essay