Men’s Behavior towards Women as a Function of Women’s Costume Attire (Cosplay): An Experimental Investigation of Speed Dating at a Popular Culture Convention

Yo-Fan Rachel Callewaert, Sylvia Beyer


With the surge of consumer interest in popular culture media, it is surprising that little research has been conducted into the conventions that celebrate these themes. Speed dating is a staple of these conventions. Attendees are encouraged to dress up or “cosplay” as their favorite characters from movies, television, or comic books. Will a woman generate more interest from men while in costume, and if so, does the type of costume matter? We hypothesized that men are more attracted to women dressed in seductive rather than demure cosplay or in street clothes. However, it is unlikely that women’s attire is the sole determinant of men’s interest in women. In all likelihood, other factors such as women’s physical attractiveness and personality also affect men’s interest. Our study included two female confederates. We examined whether women’s attire affects men’s interest in them at a real-world cosplay speed dating event with 48 single men participating.  We found that men were attracted to a female confederate positively engaged in their dyadic interaction regardless of her attire.  This suggests that attire is far from being the major determinant of men’s interest in women.


cosplay, speed dating, video games, interpersonal attraction, personality, affective presence, attire

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