Women’s physical attractiveness is associated with health and fertility, but various fashion accessories could act, however, as supernormal stimuli and may enhance physical attractiveness to the opposite sex. Wearing high heels could contribute to women’s physical attractiveness in various ways. Across three independent studies, I investigated whether high heels influence the perception of leg length and consequently their physical attractiveness in both sexes and their role in women’s intrasexual competition. Heeled legs were more attractive than non-heeled legs and heeled legs were also viewed as longer than non-heeled legs. Furthermore, high heels promote women’s mates guarding of their own partners as well as their perception of the sexual receptivity of the target wearing high heels. In conclusion, visually prolonged leg length by wearing high heels make legs more sexually attractive and high heels promote competition between women for access to the opposite sex.
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Jana Švancárová helped with data collection and David Livingstone improved the English. Two anonymous referees made helpful comments on an earlier draft. This research was partly funded by grant VEGA no. 1/0286/20.
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Prokop, P. High heels enhance perceived sexual attractiveness, leg length and women’s mate-guarding. Curr Psychol 41, 3282–3292 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-020-00832-y
- Female attractiveness
- Human mating