Every fall the news media is full of stories about the latest so-called “sexy” Halloween costumes. Once in a while these stories are mildly amusing, such as the recent one on what types of Halloween costumes should NEVER be sexy. Sometimes the articles try to comment on why these costumes are such a phenomenon. We actually talked about this in a social psych class a few years ago. I think Darwin has the funniest explanation though.

Evolutionary Psychology is both enlightening and incredibly limiting in explaining human behavior. Sometimes it’s downright hilarious.

Like in the case of Halloween costumes.

According to evolutionary psychology, why are women really going Moulin Rouge or Slutty Pumpkin every Halloween? Why are men dressing up as pirates, Bob the Builder, and Jim Halpert (because who can resist three-hole-punch Jim)?

To attract potential mates.

Despite the powerful force to reproduce, we must not quite be doing enough. Hence, sexy Halloween costumes, and more potential mates attracted. That’s 12 peak times a year (during ovulation) that potential mates could be attracted, plus 1… making it that much more likely one’s genes will be carried on.

Those poor souls who didn’t find their sexy Chewbacca costume back in the Stone Age ostensibly failed to survive.

Research has also shown that women dress more provocatively during ovulation – and they may not even realize it. Heaven forbid a woman’s cycle and Halloween fall in the same time frame. Watch out! (Or not!)

  • What was your best or favorite Halloween costume you ever had?
  • What is your favorite (or least favorite) Halloween tradition?
  • What are your plans for Halloween this year?