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26/10/2020  
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SOCIETY AND CONSUMER
High Heels Increase Women´s Attractiveness

French study investigates the effect of a woman´s shoe heels on men´s behavior


A French study is the first to investigate the effect of a woman´s shoe heels on men´s behavior. If it´s help a woman needs, maybe she should wear high heels. That´s the message from researchers after they observed how helpful men are towards women in high heels versus those wearing flat, sensible shoes.
Ibercampus 21/11/2014 Send to a friend
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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.

Research across various cultures has shown at length how important physical features, such as body size and the style and color of a woman´s clothing, influence a man´s behavior towards and judgment of a woman. Even though a link between high-heeled shoes and sexiness is implied by the many models wearing such shoes in magazines and adult films, only one previous study has tested the effect of women´s shoe heels on men´s judgment.

"Women´s shoe heel size exerts a powerful effect on men´s behavior," summarizes Guéguen, who argues that the results of these studies once again reveal how men focus on women´s physical attributes when judging and interacting with members of the opposite sex.

He believes that more research must be done to examine whether this effect depends on a woman´s shoe heel size and on any change of gait due to wearing high heels. He speculates that, because sexy female models often wear such shoes in the media, men have started to associate the wearers of high-heeled shoes with those having sexual intent.

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