The Connection Between Neon Signs and Sex - City Garden Land
- The Connection Between Neon Signs and Sex
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- October 17, 2022
It’s a commonly known stereotype that men are drawn to bright, neon signs for rooms that hawk scantily clad women. But it’s not just men who have an attraction to those places.
An online survey conducted by the Huffington Post found that women are three times more likely than men to report being sexually aroused by vivid color and imagery, which includes the bright reds, blues, greens and oranges of neon signage. For many people, this is a very strange phenomenon — but for one researcher at Oxford University who studied how humans evolved sex differences in facial expression over time, this is actually very normal.
1. Did humans evolve to be attracted to neon lighting and signs?
“About two million years ago hominids like modern humans began appearing in the fossil record,” said David Puts in a recent interview. “This date is important, because it marks the beginning of the Paleolithic era. This was a time when our ancestors were adapting to life in small groups, when our brains were enlarging, and when we began making art.”
“Our faces have picked up on some of these changes,” Puts added. “For example, between two and three million years ago human faces became more angled, with our eyes growing bigger to focus on the distance ahead. As our faces altered, we were able to read the emotional expressions on other people’s faces more accurately. Today we can tell when a person is fearful or angry just by looking at their eyes. Our changes in emotional perception may underlie the changes in art.”
In this sense, we actually have developed an evolutionary attraction to neon signs. The bright reds, blues and greens of these signs have been imitated in any number of animals that typically use vibrant colors as a warning sign against predators.
With a large number of the neon signs featuring women with large breasts and butts, it can be argued that neon lights are also responsible for causing humans to evolve into deviants who desire physical attributes that are only naturally found in animals.
2. Why does this attraction exist?
This question is difficult to answer because there are so many factors involved in why humans develop sexual arousal from what they see on the street. From a neurological point of view, it is said that men’s brains tend to be more visual than women’s, which means that men are more likely to become sexually aroused by images that include bright lights and colors.
In addition, neon signage may be a form of advertising, but modern advertising usually involves images of people instead of objects. Also, the images in these places are often mundane — things like pizza delivery boys or store clerks — rather than obviously sexy women (although some places do have ads featuring very attractive women).
3. Do neon signs cause sexual arousal?
“Obviously,” Puts said, “neon lights don’t arouse sexual desire. We’re trying to explain why women’s faces show an attraction to these kinds of lights, and why women have a higher tendency to be aroused by visual things in general.”
In one study, Puts and his colleagues asked the volunteer participants to look at faces with strong lighting that made it easier to see their emotions. The faces used in the study were those of young women who had been rated for attractiveness.
“Our research suggested that even the most attractive women experienced heightened sexual arousal when they looked at these lighting conditions,” Puts said. “These results suggest that some of the characteristics of neon signs and their surroundings — namely, the lights — are actually arousing to women.”
4. Are people attracted to neon signs because they reflect their own personalities?
Many people who frequent exotic dance clubs also have neon signs in their homes, but this does not mean that people who like to go dancing are naturally more attracted to sex than those who don’t.
“It’s possible that neon signs influence people in this way,” Puts said. “But I think it’s more likely that a combination of social, cultural and biological factors influence the outcome of your personality and behavior.”
5. What do neon signs have to do with sex?
Neon signs are not, in and of themselves, inherently sexual objects. The reason for this is that sexual arousal typically takes some time to develop before the person experiencing it becomes aware of his or her feelings.
“Human behavioral psychologists have long posited that our perceptions and reactions can be influenced by what we see from others,” Puts said. “For example, people who live in areas with more crime might be more influenced by television and film portrayals of crime. In this sense, neon lights are like television and movie screens, which are also known to influence our perceptions. However, most of the people we see on television or in movies aren’t necessarily attractive — so when we encounter these visual elements in real life, they may influence our sexual arousal.”
“Some people,” he added, “might decide that the sign is their type of thing. Some might not have an attraction because they don’t fit the standard stereotype — such as a blue neon sign with a cash register.”
Neon signs that are considered sexy by many people are actually a reflection of a few key attributes that have evolved to attract the attention of people. These attributes include bright colors, neon lights and images of well-endowed women.
Neon signs do not make people experience an increased sexual arousal, but as these elements combine in our environment, it is at least possible for them to influence our behavior. Does anyone know the real reason why we see many females dressed like that?
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