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J Sex Res. 2004 Feb;41(1):66-74.

Disco clothing, female sexual motivation, and relationship status: is she dressed to impress?

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Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Urban Ethology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.


The relationship between a female's clothing choice, sexual motivation, hormone levels, and partnership status (single or not single, partner present or not present) was analyzed in 351 females attending Austrian discotheques. We digitally analyzed clothing choice to determine the amount of skin display, sheerness, and clothing tightness. Participants self-reported sexual motivation, and we assessed estradiol and testosterone levels through saliva sampling. Results show that females are aware of the social signal function of their clothing and that they in some cases alter their clothing style to match their courtship motivation. In particular, sheer clothing -although rare in the study- positively correlated with the motivation for sex. Hormone levels influenced clothing choice in many groups, with testosterone levels correlating positively with physique display. In females who had a partner but were at the disco unaccompanied by the partner, estradiol levels correlated positively with skin display and clothing tightness. Significant differences were not found, however, for clothing choice across the partnership-status groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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