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Men's Attraction to Women's Bodies Changes Seasonally

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Men's Attraction to Women's Bodies Changes Seasonally

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Humans exhibit seasonal variation in hormone levels, behaviour, and perception. Here we show that men's assessments of women's attractiveness change also seasonally. In five seasons (from winter 2004 to winter 2005) 114 heterosexual men were asked to assess the attractiveness of the same stimuli: photos of a female with three different waist-to-hip ratios; photos of female breasts, and photos of average-looking faces of young women. For each season, the scores given to the stimuli of the same category (body shape, breast, and face) were combined. Friedman's test revealed significant changes for body shape and breast attractiveness assessments across the seasons, but no changes for face ratings. The highest scores for attractiveness were given in winter and the lowest in summer. We suggest that the observed seasonality is related to the well-known 'contrast effect'. More frequent exposure to women's bodies in warmer seasons might increase men's attractiveness criteria for women's body shape and breasts.
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1 Introduction
Humans exhibit seasonal variation in different physiological and behavioural processes
(see review in Bronson 2004; Kimura and Hampson 1994). Mood fluctuations over
the year, particularly at higher latitudes, have also been shown by many authors (for
review see Harmatz et al 2000). For instance, seasonal affective disorder is a depressive
disorder that occurs during the winter (Dalgleish et al 1996), but mood and behaviour
also vary seasonally in healthy individuals (eg Kasper et al 1989; Lacoste and Wirz-
Justice 1987; Terman 1988). Such variation might be important because hormones,
neurotransmitters, and/or mood fluctuations over the year may cause seasonal fluctu-
ations in fertility (Lam and Miron 1994) or sexual behaviour (Smolensky et al 1981).
It is also known that human taste perception in patients with seasonal affective dis-
order may change over the year (Arbisi et al 1996). Therefore it is possible that visual
perception and judgments of the attractiveness of others or self-attractiveness could
also differ in relation to the season of the year. Circannual changes in mood might
influence either perception of self-attractiveness or attractiveness of others (including
sexual partners). It is also well-known that individuals adjust their judgment of the
attractiveness of others according to whether the target person is presented in a set
of attractive or unattractive stimuli (Geiselman et al 1984; Kenrick et al 1989, 1994;
Kowner and Ogawa 1993). People also judge their self-attractiveness in relation to
the attractiveness of the stimuli (Thornton and Maurice 1997). In other words, when
people are exposed to attractive stimuli (faces or bodies) they usually assess their
self-attractiveness and attractiveness of other target images lower than when they are
exposed to unattractive stimuli. This phenomenon is called the `contrast effect'. If
then in different seasons of the year people are exposed in real life to different bodies
(or parts of bodies), they can assess the same body stimuli in the two seasons differently.
Men's attraction to women's bodies changes seasonally
Perception, 2 008, volum e 37, pages 1079 ^ 10 85
Bogusaw Pawlowskiô
Department of Anthropology, University of Wrocaw, ul. Kuz
¨nicza 35, Wrocaw 50-138, Poland;
e-mail: boguslaw.pawlowski@antro.pan.wroc.pl (ô also Departamento de Ecologia Humana,
CINVESTAV-Me
¨rida, Unidad Me
¨rida Km, 6 Antigua carretera a Progreso, Apdo. Postal 73,
Cordemex, 97310, Me
¨rida, Yuc, Me
¨xico; and Institute of Anthropology, Polish Academy of Sciences,
ul. Kuz
¨nicza 35, Wrocaw 50-951, Poland)
Piotr Sorokowski
Institute of Psychology, University of Wrocaw, ul. J. Dawida 1, 50-527 Wrocaw, Poland;
e-mail: piotrsorokowski@yahoo.co.uk
Received 31 October 2006, in revised form 9 November 2007
Abstract. Humans exhibit seasonal variation in hormone levels, behaviour, and perception. Here
we show that men's assessments of women's attractiveness change also seasonally. In five seasons
(from winter 2004 to winter 2005) 114 heterosexual men were asked to assess the attractiveness
of the same stimuli: photos of a female with three different waist-to-hip ratios; photos of female
breasts, and photos of average-looking faces of young women. For each season, the scores given
to the stimuli of the same category (body shape, breast, and face) were combined. Friedman's
test revealed significant changes for body shape and breast attractiveness assessments across the
seasons, but no changes for face ratings. The highest scores for attractiveness were given in
winter and the lowest in summer. We suggest that the observed seasonality is related to the well-
known `contrast effect'. More frequent exposure to women's bodies in warmer seasons might
increase men's attractiveness criteria for women's body shape and breasts.
doi:10.1068/p5715
Here we test whether the perception of female body shape, and breast and face
attractiveness by males changes in relation to season, and therefore if there is some
seasonality-dependent `contrast effect'. Since in summer men are much more often
exposed to more uncovered women's bodies than in winter, our prediction is that stim-
uli presented to men in summer will be assessed as less attractive than the same stimuli
presented to the same men in winter.
2 Method
The data were collected in January, May, August, and October 2004, and in February
2005; in other words, the four seasons of the year 2004 and the following winter 2005.
The studied subjects were 114 heterosexual men, aged 16 to 53 years (with mean age,
M28:03 years, SD 10:66 years). 57 men were city dwellers living in Wrocaw
(Poland) (M26:1years, SD 9:08 years), and 57 men (M29:9years, SD 11:8
years) lived in the rural area (ca 80 km from Wrocaw). The participants were volun-
teers recruited by one of the authors (PS) by visiting many households in one village
and one city. The data were collected by visiting the participants in their homes or in
other places they were willing to meet the investigator. The participants were informed
that they were taking part in studies on aesthetic preferences related to women's attrac-
tiveness. All participants agreed to repeat the assessment a few times (every 3 months).
We did not inform them why those repetitions were necessary, we only asked if they
agreed to take part in such a study.
All subjects were asked about their age, education, and marital status. In each
season they were also asked whether they currently had a sexual partner and about
the duration of this relationship. In each season the subjects were asked to assess
attractiveness of the following stimuli:
(i) 3 photos of a female in a black swimming suit (the back silhouettes) with three
different waist-to-hip ratios (WHRs) changed by the waist size (0.6, 0.7, 0.8) and
3 photos with WHRs changed by hip size (0.6, 0.7, 0.8)
ö
the pictures were taken from
Rozmus-Wrzesinska and Pawlowski (2005). Stimuli were created electronically from two
black-and-white photographs of one woman. In one of the original pictures the
woman was presented from the front, and in other one from the back [all details,
including pictures of stimuli, are in Rozmus-Wrzesinska and Pawlowski (2005)].
(ii) 5 photos of female breasts of different size: A (the smallest), B, C, D, and DD
(the biggest). The breast pictures were taken from internet pages from different plastic
surgery clinics. We have chosen similar breasts (all coloured pictures) that differed only
in size. In these pictures there were only breasts.
(iii) 3 photos of average-looking faces of young women. The face pictures were also
coloured and were chosen from 40 pictures of students' faces. The chosen faces were
assessed by three judges as very average faces in terms of attractiveness.
In order to minimise the effect of anchoring (Tversky and Kahneman 1974) and
the influence of the background, ie the influence of an earlier photo on the physical
attractiveness assessment of the subsequent photo, the stimuli were presented randomly.
The attractiveness of each stimulus was assessed on Likert 9-point scale (1very
unattractive; 9very attractive). The subjects were also asked to assess their own and
their sexual partner's attractiveness on the same scale. These two questions were asked
before the subjects were exposed to the stimuli. We analysed partner's attractiveness
assessments only for those men who had the same partner in the five studied seasons
(42 men had no partner in at least one of the studied seasons and 28 men had at least
two different partners in that time).
Owing to possible variation in preferences for different body shape, different
breast size, or female face, we combined the scores given to stimuli belonging to the
same category and divided the result by the number of stimuli in each category for
1080 B Pawlowski, P Sorokowski
each studied season. In this way we obtained the average attractiveness ratings in
each category (body shape adjusted by waist, body shape adjusted by hip, breast, face,
partner, self-attractiveness) for each man across each of the five measurement times
(figure 1). We included winter 2005 to check whether the changes across seasons were
not related just to the subjects' reaction to multiple exposures to the same stimuli
over the year and not to the seasonality.
Because Kolmogorov^ Smirnov tests showed lack of normality for the majority
of variables (in all attractiveness categories for all seasons), to test for seasonal
effects we used the Friedman test which is a non-parametric alternative to the one-way
repeated-measures analysis of variance (
ANOVA
). However, to check the pairwise
comparison we also used one-way repeated-measures
ANOVA
s, but only for categories
where the sample size was bigger than 100 cases. To compensate for the violation
of normality assumption, we used a more stringent alevel (0.01) for assessing the
significance of differences.
3Results
Since the results for body shape with different WHRs alternating either by waist or
hip size did not differ significantly (neither for winter 04: t1:17,p0:25; spring:
t1:35,p0:18; summer: t0:64,p0:52; autumn: t1:97,p0:051; nor for
winter 05: t0:45,p0:65), in all analyses we used only the better-known from the
literature assessments for body shape with WHR adjusted waist size. Friedman's test
for the four seasons of 2004 (N114) revealed significant variation in the average
rating of body shape (w
2
3
100:7,p50:001) and breasts (w
2
87:4,p50:001)across
the seasons but no change for faces (w
2
2:44,p0:5) (figure 1). As predicted
according to the `contrast effect', ratings of body and breast attractiveness were lower
in summer than in winter (Wilcoxon T43:17,p0:002). A posteriori tests with
Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons revealed that out of the 10 pairwise
comparisons for body shape there were 7 significant differences ie with p50:01
(winter 04 ^ spring; winter 04 ^ summer; winter 04 ^ autumn; spring ^ summer; spring ^
autumn; summer ^ winter 05, and autumn ^winter 05), for breast there were also 7
significant differences (winter 04 ^ spr ing; winter 04 ^ summer; winter 04 ^ autumn;
spring ^ summer; summer ^ autumn; summer ^ winter 05; and autumn ^ winter 05), but
for face all 10 pairwise comparisons were not significant.
The observed relationship holds true for the whole sample and also separately for
rural and urban men. When we divided men into two groups with relatively large and
similar number of subjects, those younger than 26 years (N66 ) and those older than
25 years (N48 ), we found that although the older men assessed the attractiveness of the
8
7
6
5
4
3
Attractiveness
winter 04 spring summer autumn winter 05
Season
partner
self
breasts
body shape
face
Figure 1. Mean attractiveness assessments (on Lickert scale) by men in five studied seasons.
Men's attraction to women's bodies changes seasonally 1081
stimuli higher than the younger ones in all seasons and for all stimulus categories,
the general pattern of changes in perceiving the attractiveness across the seasons
was the same for these two age groups. Partner's attractiveness assessment by those
who had the same partner throughout all seasons (N44) fluctuated (w
2
25:46,
p50:001) in the same way as body or breast assessments. There was no change in
own attractiveness assessment across the year (w
2
4:22,p0:24).
4 Discussion
The results indicate that there is some seasonality in women's body shape and breast
attractiveness assessments by men. The highest scores were given in winter and the
lowest in summer. In Poland, seasonal temperature fluctuation is marked and clothing
changes accordingly. Higher ambient temperature in warmer seasons is related with
higher levels of exposure to sexually dimorphic traits. According to the `contrast
effect' hypothesis, one would expect that attractiveness assessments of stimuli to which
subjects are more exposed in some seasons (eg female body shape in a swimming suit
or partly covered breasts or tightly fitting T-shirts in the warmer seasons), would be
relatively lower. As predicted by this hypothesis, we found a negative relationship
between the putative time exposure to real-life stimuli and attractiveness scores for
body shape and breasts. Since exposure to female faces does not change across
seasons, one would expect assessment of facial attractiveness to be constant over the
year. Furthermore, when a man is exposed to more female bodies (among which there
can be very attractive ones), this may negatively influence the assessment of his
partner's attractiveness (as found in our studies). There is also another line of evi-
dence that could support the `contrast effect' hypothesis. We found also a significant
difference between partner's attractiveness assessment by men from rural and urban areas
(for instance in winter 04: 8.1 versus 6.9, Mann^ Whitney U test Zÿ2:94,p0:003).
Although significant for all seasons, this difference diminished in spring (Zÿ2:45,
p0:014), became marginally significant in summer (Zÿ2:03,p0:042) and again
increased in autumn (Zÿ2:14,p0:033), and more so in winter 05 (Zÿ3:87,
p50:0001). Irrespective of the season of the year, men living in the village gave
higher scores to their partners than men from the city. This is what one would expect
from the `contrast effect' hypothesis. In real-life, men living in urban areas are more often
exposed to many unknown, attractive women. Kenrick et al (1989) showed that men
exposed to photos of attractive women rated their partners as less attractive.
It is unlikely that our results could have represented the effect of the order of
seasons (winter ^ spring ^ summer ^ autumn) in which our subjects were studied and
therefore stemmed from the `exposure effect'. According to classical psychological
research (eg Moreland and Zajonc 1982; Zajonc 1968) the perceived attractiveness
should increase with time and with multiple exposure, yet in our case it decreased
in the first three seasons and increased only in autumn and the following winter.
This indicates that there was no constant trend (either increase or decrease) resulting
from the number of exposures to the same stimuli.
There are, however, at least two other possible explanations of our results that
should also be considered. The first one is that the changes in assessing female attrac-
tiveness in relation to the season of the year could be related to the seasonal mood
change of the studied men. Since mood may influence judgments about other people
(Feshbach and Singer 1957; Gouaux 1971), it is possible that our results could be
explained by the seasonal mood-change effect. There are, however, a few reasons why
this is rather unlikely. Kenrick et al (1993) showed that mood fluctuations are not
related to judgments of the facial attractiveness of women. Apart from the results
of Kenrick et al, we can also advance some arguments based on our results that
would deny that the effect we found is mood-dependent. First, we found no change in
1082 B Pawlowski, P Sorokowski
own attractiveness assessment across the year. Second, we found no within-season
significant relationship between own attractiveness assessment and ratings of any stim-
ulus categories (ÿ0:12 4r40:15). Third, there was no effect of circannual changes
for face assessment and these changes were found only for sexually dimorphic traits
that are covered by clothes to different extents across seasons. These three arguments
are, however, not sufficient to exclude this mechanism as a potential explanation of
our results. It is possible that self-ratings and ratings by others are not affected in the
same way by mood change. Winter may signal scarcity of resources (including mates),
possibly triggering a depressed, energy-conservation state. While self-evaluations are
unlikely to be affected, this state could lead men to boost their evaluations of romantic
opportunities along with their willingness to acquire them. Such a response may be
specific to body/breast assessments because of their relative visual scarcity.
The second possible explanation is that the changes in assessing female attractive-
ness in relation to the season of the year are related to the seasonal fluctuations in
testosterone level (T). There is some line of evidences indicating that hormones may
influence attractiveness assessments. For instance, the assessment of males' facial
attractiveness was found to be dependent on the phase of menstrual cycle (eg Danel
and Pawlowski 2006; Johnston et al 2001; Macrae et al 2002). In the fertile phase
(high level of estrogens and low level of progesterone) women seem to prefer more
masculine faces than in the non-fertile phase (Penton-Voak and Perrett 2000; Thornhill
and Gangestad 1999). It seems therefore conceivable that in the case of men it could
be testosterone level that might influence men's assessment of women's attractiveness
in different seasons of the year. It is possible that in the seasons when men have higher
Tlevel, they can give higher or lower notes for female attractiveness. There are a few
studies in which some seasonal Tfluctuations were found. For instance, in probably
the biggest study on Tchanges during one year (for 4462 men from USA) Dabbs
(1990) showed the peak of Tin December (for men in their early 30s the peak was
in November). This result was also confirmed in Norway by Svartberg et al (2003)
who showed that the lowest level of free Tis during summer months (with nadir in
August). However, the data on Tlevel in relation to season are not conclusive (see also
Svartberg et al 2003). In a few studies (eg Andersson et al 2003; Smals et al 1976) the
Tlevel was found to be highest in summer months or did not differ seasonally (Maes
et al 1997; Tancredi et al 2005). There are also other lines of evidence indicating that
the influence of Tlevel on seasonal differences of female attractiveness assessment
by men is doubtful. First, we found no seasonal effect for face index. Second, indepen-
dently of season, all the indices of the older men were higher, and it is known that
Tlevel declines with age (Dabbs 1990; Feldman et al 2002). This, however, could also
be explained by the fact that the older men rated the stimuli more attractive not
because of their own lower Tlevel but because the stimuli they assessed were from
relatively younger (and therefore more attractive) women (the younger men's group
assessed in fact their age-mates). But in our sample age was unrelated to seasonality
in evaluation of body shape and breast (season6age group interactions F50:59,
p40:62). This means that although younger men (ie those with higher Tlevel) were
more critical in their attractiveness judgments, they did not differ from the older
group in terms of seasonality. Since seasonal shifts in Twould presumably affect young
and old men alike, the same seasonality effects in the two groups might be in favour
of a T-mediated effect.
Although these two other possibilities are rather unlikely explanations of the obtained
results, we cannot completely rule them out.
The suggested psychological influence on attractiveness judgments, and therefore
some seasonality in assessing attractiveness of sexually dimorphic traits by men, has
been completely neglected by biologists in interpreting behavioural seasonal changes.
Men's attraction to women's bodies changes seasonally 1083
Apart from the direct influences of temperature fluctuations, hormonal level changes
(T, melatonin, luteinising hormone, or others) or fertility seasonality, the `contrast effect'
may also contribute to observed behavioural fluctuations related to human male ^ female
interactions. The effect we found might cause seasonally different levels of male assess-
ment of female attractiveness or affect males' mate choice decisions. It is also possible
that such seasonality might be related to some circannual fluctuations in sexual
activity (Smolensky et al 1981) and therefore might be related, for example, to some
yearly fluctuations of adulterous behaviour. Unfortunately we are unable to indicate
definitely which mechanism is responsible for the observed seasonality. The `contrast
effect' explanation seems plausible, but it is based on the conjecture that men will be
exposed to sufficient numbers of women in summer who have more attractive bodies
than those depicted in the stimuli in our study. Although it is possible that, comple-
menting biological mechanisms that usually explain circannual rhythms, psychological
effects of exposure could also be important for seasonality in human judgments and
behaviour; to prove that we need further empirical studies that would allow us to test
for each of the suggested mechanisms of the observed seasonality.
Acknowledgments. We would like to thank Wojtek Zadrozny for his help during research and all
men who agreed to participate in this study. We are very grateful to David Perrett, Craig Roberts,
Robert Kruszynski, and Daniel Nettle for all their valuable comments. We are also grateful
to Gosia Rozmus-Wrzesinska for women's pictures with different WHR which we used in this study.
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... These associations were particularly fascinating since humans do not exhibit a clear photoperiodic hormonal regulation. However, men appear to experience seasonal variations in sexual behavior characteristics, such as frequency of intercourse, sexually transmitted diseases rates, and contraceptives sales, but reports are scarce (Smolensky et al. 1981;Meriggiola et al. 1996;Pawlowski and Sorokowski 2008;Lauritsen and White 2014;Demir et al. 2016). After dichotomizing the study population according to short and long sunshine duration, a significant decrease (Frungieri et al. 2017), testosterone levels have been shown to peak in Sperm concentration and count abnormality rates were significantly increased during the lowest (Q1) humidity periods; whereas semen volume and sperm motility abnormality rates were significantly increased during the highest (Q4) humidity periods (*P<0.05 ...
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Spermatogenesis is a temperature-dependent process, and high summer temperatures have been linked to lower sperm concentration and count. However, reports describing the association between other meteorological variables and semen quality are scarce. This study evaluated the association between semen quality and temperature, humidity, pressure, apparent temperature (AT), temperature-humidity index (THI), simplified wet-bulb global temperature (sWBGT), and sunshine duration. Semen samples were obtained at the Laboratorio de Andrología y Reproducción (LAR, Argentina), from men undergoing routine andrology examination (n=11657) and computer-assisted sperm analysis (n=4705) following WHO 2010 criteria. Meteorological variables readings were obtained from the Sistema Meteorológico Nacional. Sperm quality parameters were negatively affected in summer when compared to winter. Additionally, there was a significant decrease in sperm kinematics between winter and spring. Branch and bound variable selection followed by multiple regression analysis revealed a significant association between semen quality and meteorological variables. Specifically, changes in sunshine duration and humidity reinforced the prognosis of semen quality. Highest/lowest sunshine duration and humidity quantiles resulted in decreased sperm concentration, count, motility, vitality and membrane competence, nuclear maturity, and sperm kinematics associated to highest sunshine duration and lowest humidity. Findings from this report highlight the relevance of environmental studies for predicting alterations in male reproductive health associated to variations in meteorological variables, especially considering the current climate changes around the planet due to global warming and its consequences for human health.
... En otras investigaciones (Furnham & Swami, 2007;Treleaven, 2007) se ha determinado la contribución del tamaño del busto y de los glúteos al perfil del atractivo físico de las mujeres. Hay estudios (Bleske-Rechek, Kolb, Stern, Quigley, & Nelson, 2014;Pawlowski & Sorokowski, 2008), que se han enfocado en evaluar el atractivo físico basándose en el rostro, con la creencia de que es la zona que determina ese atractivo físico, pero los investigadores han redirigido su interés a estudiar los aspectos del atractivo físico, dentro del campo de la psicología evolutiva. Las características dominantes son la relación cintura cadera y IMC. ...
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The purpose of the study was to describe the kinanthropometric characteristics and nutritional intake of female and male Costa Rican advertising models. Models and controls participated in a cross-sectional study. Kinanthropometric characteristics and food intake were measured. This is a cross-sectional study in which models and controls completed questionnaires. Kinanthropometric characteristics and food intake were measured. Participants were 135 subjects divided into groups of models (females, n = 35, males, n = 18) and controls (females, n = 40, males, n = 42). Regardless of gender, body fat percentage was lower in models than in control participants (p < .001). Female models had a lower conicity index than female controls (p < .001), and male models and controls had a similar conicity index (p = .692). Rice and beans were the most common complex carbohydrates in the diet of individuals in general. Compared to controls, the models had a lower frequency consumption of rice, higher starch vegetables and whole grains intake, a preference for healthy fats and lower intake of sweet cookies, pastries and vegetable oil. In conclusion, advertising models had a lower adiposity and their food consumption consisted on healthier portions than their control counterparts. © Copyright: Federación Espanola de Asociaciones de Docentes de Educación Física (FEADEF).
... En otras investigaciones (Furnham & Swami, 2007;Treleaven, 2007) se ha determinado la contribución del tamaño del busto y de los glúteos al perfil del atractivo físico de las mujeres. Hay estudios (Bleske-Rechek, Kolb, Stern, Quigley, & Nelson, 2014;Pawlowski & Sorokowski, 2008), que se han enfocado en evaluar el atractivo físico basándose en el rostro, con la creencia de que es la zona que determina ese atractivo físico, pero los investigadores han redirigido su interés a estudiar los aspectos del atractivo físico, dentro del campo de la psicología evolutiva. Las características dominantes son la relación cintura cadera y IMC. ...
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Resumen. El propósito del estudio fue describir las características cineantropométricas y la ingesta nutricional de mujeres y hombres costarricenses dedicados al modelaje publicitario. Se realizó un estudio transversal descriptivo con modelos y controles. Se midieron características cineantropométricas y la ingesta de alimentos. Participaron 135 personas, divididas en grupos de modelos (mujeres, n = 35, hombres, n = 18) y controles (mujeres, n = 40, hombres, n = 42). Independientemente del sexo, el porcentaje de grasa corporal fue menor en las personas que se dedican al modelaje que los participantes control (p < .001). Las mujeres modelos tenían un menor índice de conicidad que las mujeres controles (p < .001), y los hombres modelos y los controles tuvieron un índice de conicidad similar (p = .692). El arroz y los frijoles fueron los carbohidratos complejos más comunes en la dieta de los sujetos en general. En comparación con los controles, los modelos presentan una menor frecuencia de consumo de arroz, un mayor consumo de verduras harinosas y cereales integrales, una preferencia por grasas saludables y menor consumo de galletas dulces, repostería y aceite vegetal. En conclusión, las personas que se dedican al modelaje tienen una adiposidad menor e ingieren alimentos en porciones más saludables que quienes no son modelos. Abstract. The purpose of the study was to describe the kinanthropometric characteristics and nutritional intake of female and male Costa Rican advertising models. Models and controls participated in a cross-sectional study. Kinanthropometric characteristics and food intake were measured. This is a cross-sectional study in which models and controls completed questionnaires. Kinanthropometric characteristics and food intake were measured. Participants were 135 subjects divided into groups of models (females, n = 35, males, n = 18) and controls (females, n = 40, males, n = 42). Regardless of gender, body fat percentage was lower in models than in control participants (p < .001). Female models had a lower conicity index than female controls (p < .001), and male models and controls had a similar conicity index (p = .692). Rice and beans were the most common complex carbohydrates in the diet of individuals in general. Compared to controls, the models had a lower frequency consumption of rice, higher starch vegetables and whole grains intake, a preference for healthy fats and lower intake of sweet cookies, pastries and vegetable oil. In conclusion, advertising models had a lower adiposity and their food consumption consisted on healthier portions than their control counterparts.
... Abgesehen von den bisher vorgestellten Determinanten ließen sich zahlreiche weitere situative Variablen mit der Attraktivitätsbewertung in Zusammenhang bringen. Dazu zählen unter anderem die aktuelle Blutalkoholkonzentration des beurteilenden Individuums (Lyvers, Cholakians, Puorro, & Sundram, 2011), dessen Nikotinkonsum (Attwood, Penton-Voak, & Munafò, 2009), die Uhrzeit (Gladue & Delaney, 1990), die Jahreszeit (Pawlowski & Sorokowski, 2008), gleichzeitig auftretende olfaktorische (Demattè, Osterbauer, & Spence, 2007) und auditive Reize (Yang & Li, 2013), sowie die Betrachtungszeit der Zielperson (Rashidi, Pazhoohi, & Hosseinchari, 2012). ...
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Fabian Kirsch geht im Rahmen von zwei experimentellen Studien der Frage nach, wie sich das Tragen roter Kleidung und Kleidung in der persönlichen Präferenzfarbe des Betrachters/der Betrachterin auf die Wahrnehmung verschiedener Personenaspekte, insbesondere auf die physische Attraktivität, auswirkt. Weiterhin gibt der Autor einen Überblick über die aktuelle Attraktivitäts- sowie farbpsychologische Forschung und diskutiert methodische Besonderheiten im Schnittpunkt dieser beiden Forschungszweige. Für die individuelle Farbpräferenz zeigte sich ein positiver Zusammenhang zur Attraktivitätswahrnehmung. Die spezifische Wirkung der Farbe Rot hängt von dem Geschlecht der Versuchsperson, deren sexueller Orientierung und dem Geschlecht der betrachteten Zielperson ab.
... Our perceptions of attractiveness of potential mates is complex and multi-dimensional, and may include many diverse aspects. These include economic parameters, like possessions, wealth and social economic status (SES) (Drury, 2000; Swami et al., 2010), psychological components such as cognitive ability, behavior, personality and social competence (Eagly et al., 1991), physiological aspects such as the major histocompatibility complex status (Thornhill et al., 2003), hormone levels (Pawlowski & Sorokowski, 2008) and age (Borgerhoff Mulder, 1998). In addition, physical aspects such as leg length (Swami, Einon & Furnham, 2006b), the shape of the face (Grammer & Thornhill, 1994; Perrett et al., 1998) and shape of the body (Fallon & Rozin, 1985; Furnham, Tan & McManus, 1997; Singh, 1993; Singh & Young, 1995; Swami et al., 2006a; Swami & Tovee, 2005; Tovée et al., 2006; Tovee & Cornelissen, 2001; Tovee et al., 2002; Wass et al., 1997) including the role of symmetry (Perrett et al., 1998; Singh, 1993; Singh & Young, 1995; Smith, Cornelissen & Tovée, 2007; Tovee & Cornelissen, 2001; Tovee et al., 2002) are also significant factors affecting attractiveness. ...
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Aspects of the female body may be attractive because they signal evolutionary fitness. Greater body fatness might reflect greater potential to survive famines, but individuals carrying larger fat stores may have poor health and lower fertility in non-famine conditions. A mathematical statistical model using epidemiological data linking fatness to fitness traits, predicted a peaked relationship between fatness and attractiveness (maximum at body mass index (BMI) = 22.8 to 24.8 depending on ethnicity and assumptions). Participants from three Caucasian populations (Austria, Lithuania and the UK), three Asian populations (China, Iran and Mauritius) and four African populations (Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and Senegal) rated attractiveness of a series of female images varying in fatness (BMI) and waist to hip ratio (WHR). There was an inverse linear relationship between physical attractiveness and body fatness or BMI in all populations. Lower body fat was more attractive, down to at least BMI = 19. There was no peak in the relationship over the range we studied in any population. WHR was a significant independent but less important factor, which was more important (greater r (2)) in African populations. Predictions based on the fitness model were not supported. Raters appeared to use body fat percentage (BF%) and BMI as markers of age. The covariance of BF% and BMI with age indicates that the role of body fatness alone, as a marker of attractiveness, has been overestimated.
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Earlier theorists assumed that exposure to physical attractiveness leads to pleasant affect. However this relationship might hold only for judgments of the opposite sex. In this study, subjects exposed to opposite-sex photos showed a pattern consistent with the affect-attraction model: highest mood after attractive faces but lower mood if the series was interrupted by an average face. Those exposed to the same sex, however, showed lowered mood following attractive photos, whether or not an average face interrupted the attractive series. Further judgments of the average target's attractiveness were independent of subjects' affective states but followed a pattern consistent with a contrast model-relatively lowest ratings if the target followed attractive faces, whether or not the photos were of the same or the opposite sex. This suggests that the cognitive appraisal of physical attractiveness in others can operate independently of the affective reaction they evoke.
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Experimenters examining male facial attractiveness have concluded that the attractive male face is (1) an average male face, (2) a masculinized male face, or (3) a feminized male face. Others have proposed that symmetry, hormone markers, and the menstrual phase of the observer are important variables that influence male attractiveness. This study was designed to resolve these issues by examining the facial preferences of 42 female volunteers at two different phases of their menstrual cycle. Preferences were measured using a 40-s QuickTime movie (1200 frames) that was designed to systematically modify a facial image from an extreme male to an extreme female configuration. The results indicate that females exhibit (1) a preference for a male face on the masculine side of average, (2) a shift toward a more masculine male face preference during the high-risk phase of their menstrual cycle, and (3) no shift in other facial preferences. An examination of individual differences revealed that women who scored low on a “masculinity” test (1) showed a larger menstrual shift, (2) had lower self-esteem, and (3) differed in their choice of male faces for dominance and short-term mates. The results are interpreted as support for a hormonal theory of facial attractiveness whereby perceived beauty depends on an interaction between displayed hormone markers and the hormonal state of the viewer.
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Four experiments were conducted to study the nature of context effects on the perceived physical attractiveness of faces. In Experiment 1, photos of faces scaled on attractiveness were presented in sets of three, with target faces appearing in the middle flanked by two context faces. The target faces were of average attractiveness, with the context faces being either high, average, or low in attractiveness. The effect of the context was one of assimilation, rather than contrast, regardless of whether the persons in the photos were portrayed to be associated. This result was interpreted in terms of a “generalized halo effect” for judgments of the physical attractiveness of stimuli within a group. Presenting the persons of a set as friends enhanced the perceived attractiveness of the target face but only when the context did not contain a face of low attractiveness. In Experiment 2, the assimilation effect was observed to carry over to influence ratings of the target faces several minutes after the context faces had been removed. Experiment 3 showed the assimilation effect to be robust regardless of whether the context was composed of two faces or one, but Experiment 4 showed the assimilation effect to be evident only when the context faces were presented simultaneously with the target.
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We examined contextual effects on the judgment of others' attractiveness and self-evaluation among Japanese university students who rated their body satisfaction and self-esteem following exposure to various attractiveness stimuli. Our results showed the existence of a contrast effect of attractiveness stimuli on the judgment of target stimuli in men and women. A similar contrast effect on subjects' self-esteem and body satisfaction occurred in female students only. Western-based attractiveness comparison processes also prevailed in Japan. A gender difference was evident in the contextual effect of physical attractiveness stimuli.
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Research has failed to reach consensus on the characteristics of attractive male faces. Different studies have reported preferences for phenotypically average faces, and faces with both exaggerated and reduced sexual dimorphism. Recent studies demonstrate cyclic changes in female sexual behavior and preferences for odors and facial characteristics that may reflect conditional mating strategies. We employed computer graphic techniques to manipulate the “masculinity” or “femininity” of a composite male face by exaggerating or reducing the shape differences between female and male average faces. Five stimuli with varying levels of masculinity and femininity were presented in a national U.K. magazine, with a questionnaire. Female respondents in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle (n = 55) were significantly more likely to choose a masculine face than those in menses and luteal phases (n = 84). This study provides further evidence that when conception is most likely, females prefer testosterone-related facial characteristics that may honestly advertise immunocompetence.
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Adherence to an attractiveness ideal was considered as a possible mediator of a physique contrast effect among Caucasian women. Following exposure to photographs of models typifying idealized thin physiques, women displayed decreased self-esteem and increased self-consciousness, social physique anxiety, and body dissatisfaction. Although women with low adherence to an attractiveness ideal seemed to be advantaged by having greater self-esteem, less self-consciousness, and lower physique anxiety or dissatisfaction than their high adherence counterparts, these women did not display any unique resistance to the contrast effect. High affirmation of an attractiveness ideal was associated with exceptionally high potential for disordered eating. Eating disorder potential did not show influence of the contrast effect, but long-term implications were considered.
Chapter
HYPOTHESIZES THAT MERE REPEATED EXPOSURE OF THE INDIVIDUAL TO A STIMULUS OBJECT ENHANCES HIS ATTITUDE TOWARD IT. BY "MERE" EXPOSURE IS MEANT A CONDITION MAKING THE STIMULUS ACCESSIBLE TO PERCEPTION. SUPPORT FOR THE HYPOTHESIS CONSISTS OF 4 TYPES OF EVIDENCE, PRESENTED AND REVIEWED: (1) THE CORRELATION BETWEEN AFFECTIVE CONNOTATION OF WORDS AND WORD FREQUENCY, (2) THE EFFECT OF EXPERIMENTALLY MANIPULATED FREQUENCY OF EXPOSURE UPON THE AFFECTIVE CONNOTATION OF NONSENSE WORDS AND SYMBOLS, (3) THE CORRELATION BETWEEN WORD FREQUENCY AND THE ATTITUDE TO THEIR REFERENTS, AND (4) THE EFFECTS OF EXPERIMENTALLY MANIPULATED FREQUENCY OF EXPOSURE ON ATTITUDE. THE RELEVANCE FOR THE EXPOSURE-ATTITUDE HYPOTHESIS OF THE EXPLORATION THEORY AND OF THE SEMANTIC SATIATION FINDINGS WERE EXAMINED. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
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Two studies were done to investigate the influence of exposure to centerfold erotica on sexual attraction judgments. In Experiment 1, college students judged a photograph of a nude female after being exposed either to control stimuli (abstract art or other average nudes) or to photographs taken from popular erotic magazines. The target was judged as less sexually attractive after subjects had been exposed to popular erotica. Male and female subjects showed parallel patterns of attraction ratings. In Experiment 2, male and female subjects were exposed to opposite sex erotica. In the second study, there was an interaction of subject sex with stimulus condition upon sexual attraction ratings. Decremental effects of centerfold exposure were found only for male subjects exposed to female nudes. Males who found the Playboy-type centerfolds more pleasant rated themselves as less in love with their wives. Results are discussed in light of general gender differences in sexual behavior, and are related to the current controversy about pornography.
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Two experiments explored the relationship between familiarity, similarity, and attraction. In the first experiment, subjects viewed photographs of faces at various exposure frequencies and then rated them for likeableness and similarity. Familiar people were regarded by the subjects as both more likeable and more similar to themselves. The effects of familiarity on perceived similarity were primarily mediated by changes in attraction, although some evidence of a direct link between familiarity and perceived similarity was also found. In the second experiment, subjects viewed the same stimuli at a single exposure frequency, and received bogus information regarding the similarity of the people shown therein. Subsequent ratings of likeableness and perceived familiarity revealed that people who seemed similar to the subjects were regarded as both more likeable and more familiar. The effects of similarity on perceived familiarity were almost entirely mediated by changes in attraction. Some of the theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.