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Masculine Somatotype and Hirsuteness as Determinants of Sexual Attractiveness to Women

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Abstract

Five questionnaire studies asked women to rate the attractiveness of outline drawings of male figures that varied in somatotype, body proportions, symmetry, and in distribution of trunk hair. In Study 1, back-posed figures of mesomorphic (muscular) somatotypes were rated as most attractive, followed by average, ectomorphic (slim), and endomorphic (heavily built) figures by both British and Sri Lankan women. In Study 2, computer morphing of somatotypes to produce an intergraded series resulted in a graded response in terms of perceived attractiveness which mirrored the findings of Study 1. In Study 3, back-posed figures were manipulated in order to change waist-to-hip ratios (WHR) and waist-to-shoulder ratios (WSR). A WHR of 0.8-0.9 and a WSR of 0.6 were rated as most attractive and these effects were more pronounced when modeling mesomorphic figures. In Study 4, symmetric figures of a mesomorphic somatotype were rated as less attractive than a normal (asymmetric) version of the same man. Study 5 showed that presence of trunk hair had a marked, positive effect upon women's ratings of attractiveness for both mesomorphic and endomorphic male figures. Women also judged figures with trunk hair as being older and they consistently rated endomorphic figures as being older than mesomorphs. These results are consistent with effects of sexual selection upon visual signals that advertise health, physical prowess, age, and underlying endocrine condition in the human male.
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Masculine somatotype and hirsuteness as determinants of sexual attractiveness to women
Dixson, Alan F;Halliwell, Gayle;East, Rebecca;Wignarajah, Praveen;Anderson, Matthew J
Archives of Sexual Behavior; Feb 2003; 32, 1; ProQuest Central
pg. 29
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
... Male somatotypes figures: women were asked to rate the attractiveness of outline drawings of male figures (Dixson et al., 2003). In this instrument, nine illustrations of back-facing males with different somatotypes were presented (Figure 9.1): ectomorph (ECTO), endomorph (ENDO) and mesomorph (MESO). ...
... With regard to male somatotypes, female twins preferred the mesomorphic (muscular) male somatotypes, while the 100% endomorph somatotype (with higher percentage of body fat and little muscle definition) was considered less desirable by all female twins (Figure 9.2B). This result is in agreement with the reported preference for mesomorphic male somatotypes in heterosexual females (Dixson et al., 2003). Bearing in mind that mesomorphic males perform best in preference for these men might reflect an evolutionary strategy of using male ...
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... Male somatotypes figures: women were asked to rate the attractiveness of outline drawings of male figures (Dixson et al., 2003). In this instrument, nine illustrations of back-facing males with different somatotypes were presented (Figure 9.1): ectomorph (ECTO), endomorph (ENDO) and mesomorph (MESO). ...
... With regard to male somatotypes, female twins preferred the mesomorphic (muscular) male somatotypes, while the 100% endomorph somatotype (with higher percentage of body fat and little muscle definition) was considered less desirable by all female twins (Figure 9.2B). This result is in agreement with the reported preference for mesomorphic male somatotypes in heterosexual females (Dixson et al., 2003). Bearing in mind that mesomorphic males perform best in physical fitness tests (Sugiyama, 2005), the women's preference for these men might reflect an evolutionary strategy of using male somatotype as a cue of a potential mate's health. ...
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... In addition to male muscularity serving a direct role in competing with other males, a number of studies have shown that it is also associated with female judgments of male attractiveness (Horvath, 1981;Dixson et al., 2003;Fan et al., 2005;Geary, 2005;Dixson and Dixson, 2007;Frederick and Haselton, 2007;Honekopp et al., 2007;Dixson et al., 2010b) and with reproductive success in China (Schooling et al., 2011), although men may overestimate how much muscle mass is optimally attractive (Lei and Perrett, 2021). These female preferences would have evolved only if there were preexisting fitness benefits to male muscularity (e.g., in contest competition for mates or in hunting). ...
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... Hypothesis 1 predicted that stronger men would be rated more attractive compared to weaker men. This finding was supported, and it is consistent with previous research on women's preferences for strong bodily traits (Dixson et al., 2003;Sell et al., 2017). The second hypothesis predicting differences in women's preferences for strong men in different ecologies as a function of mating strategies, was not supported. ...
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... Facial attractiveness is a major social and evolutional cue, playing a key role in the formation of interpersonal evaluation (Cui et al. 2019). In the traditional sense, "what is beautiful is good" (Dixson et al. 2003;Luo et al. 2019;Vartanian et al. 2013). An attractive person is associated with good personality traits, pleasurable experience (Garcia et al. 1991;O'Doherty et al. 2003), and high intelligence (Kanazawa 2011). ...
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Empathy is one of the necessary conditions of therapeutic personality change. Inaccurate empathy becomes a hinder of counseling outcome. Previous studies demonstrated that empathic responses could be modulated by facial attractiveness. However, what remains to be clarified is that whether the counselors’ empathic responses are affected by facial attractiveness. To investigate this question, the present study compared empathic responses to high-attractive-facial and low-attractive-facial expressions in the counselors and the matched controls. The results showed that no significant difference between empathic responses to high and low attractive facial expressions was found in the counselors. On the contrary, empathic responses were significantly stronger for highly attractive facial pictures with happy expression, but weaker for highly attractive facial pictures with sad expression. The contrast between the counselors and the controls sheds light on the psychological mechanism through which the counselors show their enhanced capability of overcoming empathy bias due to their professional training. The study offers an opportunity to better understand the counselors’ empathy ability.
... Studies across the world's regions and countries have shown that the features women now find attractive and beautiful in a man are the same ones which, in earlier societies, made him able firstly to protect a woman, and secondly to intimidate and defeat other men, e.g., (e.g., Etcoff 1999;Dixson et al. 2003;Maisey et al. 1999). Evidently, being tall and having broad shoulders, narrow hips, well-defined muscles, and a strong jawline is an advantage in love and war. ...
... In many societies (e.g., Brazil, China, and U.S.), women rate the faces and bodies of men that are hairless or have a small amount of hair as the most attractive Dixson, Dixson, Li, & Anderson, 2007a;Dixson & Rantala, 2016;Dixson & Vasey, 2012;Rantala, Pölkki, & Rantala, 2010;Valentova, Bártová, Štěrbová, & Varella, 2017a;Valentova, Varella, Bártová, Štěrbová, & Dixson, 2017b). In contrast, women in a smaller number of cultural contexts (The United Kingdom and Cameroon) seem to prefer bearded men and thicker chest hair (Dixson, Halliwell, East, Wignarajah, & Anderson, 2003;Dixson, Dixson, Morgan, & Anderson, 2007b). Older women across cultures also appear to prefer more body hair on men (Dixson et al., 2019). ...
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... Physical features, such as increased muscularity, broad shoulders, and a narrow waist have been associated with good genes, such as immunocompetence and masculinity in men (Dixson, Grimshaw, Ormsby, & Dixson, 2014;Dixson, Halliwell, East, Wignarajah, & Anderson, 2003;Gildersleeve, Haselton, & Hales, 2014). Although many studies have found a positive relationship between short-term mating and preferences for muscularity (Little Cohen, Jones, & Belsky, 2007;Provost, Komos, Kosakoski, & Quinsey, 2006;Provost, Troje, & Quinsey, 2008), research identifying whether these features are visually important for women with a short-term mating orientation has been limited. ...
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