RETRACTED ARTICLE: High Heels Increase Women’s Attractiveness

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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.

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Change history

  • 11 October 2019

    Retraction Note to Arch Sex Behav

  • 11 October 2019

    Retraction Note to Arch Sex Behav

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Correspondence to Nicolas Guéguen.

Additional information

The Editor-in-Chief has retracted this article [1] at the request of the Université de Bretagne-Sud. Following an institutional investigation, it was concluded that the article has serious methodological weaknesses and statistical errors. The data reported in this article are therefore unreliable. The author has not responded to any correspondence about this retraction.

[1] Guéguen, N. Arch Sex Behav (2015) 44: 2227. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-014-0422-z

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Guéguen, N. RETRACTED ARTICLE: High Heels Increase Women’s Attractiveness. Arch Sex Behav 44, 2227–2235 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-014-0422-z

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Keywords

  • Women
  • Attractiveness
  • Sartorial appearance