Is the 'Lipstick Effect' Rooted in Evolutionary Psychology?


"We believe that these findings are related to universal female tendencies rather than specific cultural tendencies," he said. "While experiencing resource scarcity in the middle of Africa might not lead women to seek lipstick, such conditions may lead women to enhance their appearance in culturally appropriate ways. Although more future research is needed, this work is grounded in theory about universal human nature rather than cultural stereotypes."

Ann Mari May, economics professor at the Univeisity of Nebraska in Lincoln, said previous research has also shown men to care about their looks in stressful economic conditions, which found, for example, that sales of men's hair dye increased during the Great Depression.

Griskevicius said his group did not find that economic recessions or unemployment led men to enhance their physical appearance.

"Although this is certainly plausible, I would speculate that economic downturns would lead men to seek higher-status and more prestigious products," he said. "Rather than wanting to be beautiful, men in tough times might seek to appear wealthier."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston stopped a would be smuggler from bringing nearly 7 ounces of cocaine into the country in tamales, Aug. 22, 2014.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Real Housewife Phaedra Parks Lists Home in Suburban Atlanta
Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Phaedra Parks, has listed her 4,000-square-foot home with 5 bedrooms and 6 baths for $340,900.
In this image from video posted on Facebook, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, former President George W. Bush participates in the ice bucket challenge with the help of his wife, Laura Bush, in Kennebunkport, Maine.
(Courtesy George W. Bush Presidential Center/AP)