Guys Dig Women in High Heels: Science

Surprise-to-no-one study shows the higher the heel, the more likely men are to help
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2014 12:41 PM CST
Guys Dig Women in High Heels: Science
Study shows the higher the heel, the more likely men are to help.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini)

From the researcher who showed female hitchhikers with big breasts got picked up more by men than their flatter-chested counterparts comes another revealing study: one that appears to confirm that guys think high heels are sexier than flats. In a report published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, the University of Bretagne's Nicolas Gueguen carried out a set of experiments by putting brown-haired French women—Time mentions that past studies have shown blondes are approached more than brunettes—in a series of scenarios, wearing three different types of shoes: black flats, black shoes with a 2-inch heel, or black pumps with a 3.5-inch heel. In the first experiment, as broken down by Time, a woman wearing the highest heel was able to get 83% of men ages 25 to 50 to help her with a gender equality survey; only 47% of the guys helped her when she wore flats.

To test how both men and women responded, four testers in the second experiment asked subjects to help them with a food survey; 82% of men helped the high-heelers, 42% the flats-wearers, while only 33% of women subjects helped out, no matter what the heel height. To test attractiveness levels, the testers then walked in front of "marks" and dropped gloves—93% of men retrieved the glove for high-heel wearers, 62% for those in flats. And testers sitting at a bar? It only took men about 7.49 minutes to approach those in high heels, while those in flats had to wait nearly 14 minutes. Gueguen attributes the sexiness of high heels to media imagery, among other reasons, as well as how it changes a woman's gait. "High heels may exaggerate the sex-specific aspects of the female walk," a researcher said last year in the Pacific Standard. (Some women have surgery so their high heels fit better.)

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