More revealing clothing can actually make women appear more intelligent and more faithful, new research finds.
The study conflicts with previous research finding dressing sexy has the opposite effect.
The research may demonstrate changing stereotypes about women.
The study’s author, said:
“Contrary to our predictions it was the sexualised clothing which resulted in higher intelligence and faithfulness ratings.”
For the research, 64 people were shown pictures of a fashion model dressed in two different ways.
In one picture she had on a very short skirt, a low-cut top and a jacket.
In the second picture the skirt was longer and the top covered more flesh.
Study participants ranked the woman for intelligence, personality, faithfulness, perceived job status, morality and intention to have sex.
There was no difference in the ratings between the two styles of dress except for intelligence.
Dr Alfredo Gaitan, the study’s first author, said:
“Have attitudes changed so much that people are not making negative judgments based on a woman’s dress?
We think there are still negative attitudes out there, but perhaps people are seeing the sexy look more positively.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was presented at the British Psychological Society’s conference in Nottingham (Gaitan & Worrell, 2016).