Walking in high heels could be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful but it appears there really are advantages to wearing high heels.
Findings of a new French study suggest that men are indeed more attracted to women who wear high heels and are more likely to help them than those who use flats.
For the new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior on Nov. 19, Nicolas Guéguen, from the Department of Social Behavior at the University of Bretagne in France, conducted a series of field experiments to find out how the height of a woman's shoe heel can influence a man's behavior towards her.
In the first experiment, Guéguen found out that men were more likely to agree answering a questionnaire when they were asked to by a woman wearing high heels and the higher the heel was, the more likely the men were willing to give in to the woman's request.
Less than half, or 46.7 percent, of the 30 men approached by a woman wearing flat heels agreed to fill in the questionnaire. When this woman changed into medium heels, 63.3 percent of the men approached agreed to answer the questionnaire. The number of men willing to give in to the same woman's request increased to 83.3 percent when she used high heels.
In the second experiment, Guéguen had four women, who served as his confederates, approach both men and women and observed the same pattern of behavior in men exhibited in the first experiment but the height of the confederates' heels did not seem to have any effect on the women suggesting that high heels may indeed affect a man's perception of a woman's attractiveness.
"Women's heels probably increased their attractiveness for males which, in turn, increased the probability that men comply with their request," Guéguen wrote. "It could be argued that the men in our study accepted the survey request more favorably when the women interviewer wore shoes with high heels because they probably wanted to interact with the interviewer."
In his last experiment, Guéguen, wanted to see how long it would take men drinking in a bar to approach a woman who sits alone in flat, medium heels and high heels. He found that men were twice as quick to chat with a woman when she was wearing high heels as when she was using flats.
Guéguen is not certain why men find a woman in heels more attractive but he said that it could be that the changes in the woman's gait and posture make her look more feminine.