Original Paper

Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 44, Issue 8, pp 2227-2235

First online:

High Heels Increase Women’s Attractiveness

  • Nicolas GuéguenAffiliated withDepartment of Social Behavior, Université de Bretagne-Sud Email author 

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Abstract

Research has found that the appearance of women’s apparel helps increase their attractiveness as rated by men and that men care more about physical features in potential opposite-sex mates. However, the effect of sartorial appearance has received little interest from scientists. In a series of studies, the length of women’s shoe heels was examined. A woman confederate wearing black shoes with 0, 5, or 9 cm heels asked men for help in various circumstances. In Study 1, she asked men to respond to a short survey on gender equality. In Study 2, the confederate asked men and women to participate in a survey on local food habit consumption. In Study 3, men and women in the street were observed while walking in back of the female confederate who dropped a glove apparently unaware of her loss. It was found that men’s helping behavior increased as soon as heel length increased. However, heel length had no effect on women’s helping behavior. It was also found that men spontaneously approached women more quickly when they wore high-heeled shoes (Study 4). Change in gait, foot-size judgment, and misattribution of sexiness and sexual intent were used as possible explanations.

Keywords

Women Attractiveness Sartorial appearance