Article

Cross-cultural consensus for waist–hip ratio and women's attractiveness

Authors:
  • CPIN INFOTECH
  • NSW Department of Planning and Environment
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

In women of reproductive age, a gynoid body fat distribution as measured by the size of waist–hip ratio (WHR) is a reliable indicator of their sex hormone profile, greater success in pregnancy and less risk for major diseases. According to evolutionary mate selection theory, such indicators of health and fertility should be judged as attractive. Previous research has confirmed this prediction. In this current research, we use the same stimulus for diverse racial groups (Bakossiland, Cameroon, Africa; Komodo Island, Indonesia; Samoa; and New Zealand) to examine the universality of relationships between WHR and attractiveness. As WHR is positively correlated with body mass index (BMI), we controlled BMI by using photographs of women who have gone through micrograft surgery for cosmetic reasons. Results show that in each culture participants selected women with low WHR as attractive, regardless of increases or decreases in BMI. This cross-cultural consensus suggests that the link between WHR and female attractiveness is due to adaptation shaped by the selection process.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... 대한 접근도 서로 다르다. 진화론적 관점에서 는 생물학적 관점에서 아름다움을 판단할 수 있는 보편적 기준이 있다고 주장한다 (Andrews et al., 2017;Henss, 1995;Singh et al., 2010). 예 를 들어 Singh 등(2010)은 다산성 및 건강과 관 련된 매력적인 여성이 갖는 WHR 수치가 문 화권과 상관없이 보편적이라고 한다 (Singh et al., 2010). ...
... 진화론적 관점에서 는 생물학적 관점에서 아름다움을 판단할 수 있는 보편적 기준이 있다고 주장한다 (Andrews et al., 2017;Henss, 1995;Singh et al., 2010). 예 를 들어 Singh 등(2010)은 다산성 및 건강과 관 련된 매력적인 여성이 갖는 WHR 수치가 문 화권과 상관없이 보편적이라고 한다 (Singh et al., 2010). 또 Rhodes 등(2001) (Rhodes et al., 2001). ...
... 대한 평가는 문화에 따라서 달라질 수도 있다 (Cunningham et al., 1995;Swami & Tovée, 2005 (Cunningham et al., 1995 (Cunningham et al., 1995) (Buss, 2016;Singh, 1994 (Buss, 2016;Crossley et al., 2012;Singh et al., 2010;Zebrowitzet al., 1993). ...
... Asians are more susceptible towards thin-ideal as the cultural beauty norm which has been supported in many previous studies (Yang, 2013, Haboush et al., 2012, Swami et al., 2010. Women are subjected to the thin-ideal, which involves women possessing a thin hourglass shape while men"s standard of attractiveness would indicate a muscular build characterised by a V-shape (well-developed upper body and a slender lower body) (Boisvert and Harrell, 2010, Vilhjalmsson et al., 2012, Singh et al., 2010. Non-weight-related appearance trends such as tanning have also been researched as one of the characteristics of being attractive for more positive impression (Yoo and Kim, 2012). ...
... Non-weight-related appearance trends such as tanning have also been researched as one of the characteristics of being attractive for more positive impression (Yoo and Kim, 2012). On the other hand, factors such as aging and a wider waist-hip ratio are non-weight-related factors that are defined as unattractive (Haboush et al., 2012, Singh et al., 2010. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: With the rise and fall of many communication platforms embedded in our everyday lives and the ongoing maturity of the digitalization era, social media usage has tremendously increased over the past decade. The purpose of this research is to identify to what extent self-esteem and the influence of friends" impact children's perception of their body image through social media and how powerful social media in influencing the body image of children. Methodology: The theoretical implication of this study is to expand the usage of the Signalling theory, Sociocultural theory and Social Comparison theory towards better explaining children"s behaviors and the factors that impact children's view of their body image. 282 children were recruited using the snowball sampling technique and data collected were analyzed using Smart-PLS to see the impacts and relationship between all variables. Results: This study found that self-esteem and friends do impact body comparison on social media. However, self-esteem is negatively correlated. The study also identified that there is a significant direct relationship between the direct impacts of self-esteem and friends towards the body image. On the other hand, social media is found to have no direct impact on body image. Conclusion/-and Recommendations: This study provides a better insight for the government on the importance of regulation of advertisements particularly via social media and for the society at large to create a more socially supportive environment for adolescents to communicate and help them grow their mind-set on the acceptable and realistic standards of beauty as well as contributes to the existing knowledge on the role of social media and adds knowledge to how powerful social media in giving impacts to body image among adolescences.
... Evolutionary psychologists argue that our preferences for physical attractiveness do not merely suggest arbitrary standards set by cultures but reflect specific psychological mechanisms that helped us solve a specific adaptive problem (Buss, 1989;Gangestad & Buss, 1993;Rhodes, 2006;Singh, Dixson, Jessop, Morgan, & Dixson, 2010). An adaptive problem refers to the ancestral conditions that have recurrent impacts on our ancestral humans' survival or reproduction (Cosmides & Tooby, 1995). ...
... A majority of experimental studies were conducted within a laboratory setting with college students (e.g., Fitzgerald, Horgan, & Himes, 2016;Furnham, Moutafi, & Baguma, 2002;Furnham, Petrides, & Constantinides, 2005;Henss, 2000;Puhl & Boland, 2001;Shin, Suh, & Jang, 2018;Singh, 1993Singh, ,1995Streeter & McBurney, 2003). In cases where crosscultural studies with non-university students from diverse societies (e.g., Singh et al., 2010;Marlowe et al., 2005) were conducted, the sample sizes were still relatively small. In addition, the experimental research uses carefully manipulated stimuli to emphasize causal explanations, which could produce unnatural stimuli, compromising external validity of the conclusion (Bracht & Glass, 1968). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Previous research suggests that waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist-to-stature ratio (WSR), and waist-to-bust ratio (WBR) serve as cues of health and fertility in women, influencing the viewers’ perception of attractiveness. However, it is unclear to what extent these findings can be applied to the perception of female attractiveness in a naturalistic condition or in women with a higher body mass index. In this study, we tested whether lower WHR, WSR, and WBR increased the perceived attractiveness of plus-size models in a naturalistic condition. The WHR, WSR, and WBR were computed via biometric data (height, bust, waist, and hip measurements) of 49 U.S. plus-size models who have been listed on ranker.com. The photographs of these models have been viewed 2.60 million times and voted 146,000 times. The perception of attractiveness was operationalized as rankings, generated from the relative number of upvotes and downvotes from site visitors. Spearman correlations showed that lower WHR, WSR, and WBR were all positively correlated with higher rankings. In a subsequent ordinal logistic regression, only WSR and WBR remained as significant predictors of rankings. The principal component regression also revealed that the latent body component of WHR, WSR, and WBR predicted rankings of the models.These findings cannot be accounted by the models’ general popularity or their anthropometric measures being similar to other types of models’ (e.g., fashion, glamor, playboy, and adult film models). Our findings suggest that smaller WHR, WSR, and WBR influence the perception of female attractiveness in a naturalistic condition, even among plus-size models.
... Evolutionary psychologists argue that our preferences for physical attractiveness do not merely suggest arbitrary standards set by cultures but reflect specific psychological mechanisms that helped us solve a specific adaptive problem (Buss, 1989;Gangestad & Buss, 1993;Rhodes, 2006;Singh, Dixson, Jessop, Morgan, & Dixson, 2010). An adaptive problem refers to the ancestral conditions that have recurrent impacts on our ancestral humans' survival or reproducti on (Cosmides & Tooby, 1995). ...
... A majority of experimental studies were conducted within a laboratory setting with college students (e.g., Fitzgerald, Horgan, & Himes, 2016;Furnham, Moutafi, & Baguma, 2002;Furnham, Petrides, & Constantinides, 2005;Henss, 2000;Puhl & Boland, 2001;Shin, Suh, & Jang, 2018;Singh, 1993Singh, ,1995Streeter & McBurney, 2003). In cases where cross-cultural studies with non-university students from diverse societies (e.g., Singh et al., 2010;Marlowe et al., 2005) were conducted, the sample sizes were still relatively small. In addition, the experimental research uses carefully manipulated stimuli to emphasize causal explanations, which could produce unnatural stimuli, compromising external validity of the conclusion (Bracht & Glass, 1968). ...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research suggests that waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist-to-stature ratio (WSR), and waist-to-bust ratio (WBR) serve as cues of health and fertility in women, influencing the viewers’ perception of attractiveness. However, it is unclear to what extent these findings can be applied to the perception of female attractiveness in a naturalistic condition or in women with a higher body mass index. In this study, we tested whether lower WHR , WSR , and WBR increased the perceived attractiveness of plus-size models in a naturalistic condition. The WHR , WSR , and WBR were computed via biometric data (height, bust, waist, and hip measurements) of 49 U.S. plus-size models who have been listed on ranker.com. The photographs of these models have been viewed 2.60 million times and voted 146,000 times. The perception of attractiveness was operationalized as rankings, generated from the relative number of upvotes and downvotes from site visitors. Spearman correlations showed that lower WHR , WSR , and WBR were all positively correlated with higher rankings. In a subsequent ordinal logistic regression, only WSR and WBR remained as significant predictors of rankings. The principal component regression also revealed that the latent body component of WHR , WSR , and WBR predicted rankings of the models. These findings cannot be accounted by the models’ general popularity or their anthropometric measures being similar to other types of models’ (e.g., fashion, glamor, playboy, and adult film models). Our findings suggest that smaller WHR , WSR , and WBR influence the perception of female attractiveness in a naturalistic condition, even among plus-size models.
... The estrogen-driven physique is characterized by gracile facial features, high voice pitch, and specific deposition of fat on the hips and breasts. What these traits have in common is their sexual attractiveness to many heterosexual men 1 (Collins & Missing, 2003;Dixson et al., 2011;Singh, Dixson, Jessop, Morgan, & Dixson, 2010). The testosterone-driven physique is characterized by robust faces, deep voices, facial hair, and upper-body muscularity. ...
... More specifically, research has shown that, on average, there is a clear statistical preference for symmetrical faces and for conventionally masculine or feminine physiques (e.g. Little et al., 2001;Little, Jones, DeBruine, & Feinberg, 2008;Perrett et al., 1998;Singh et al., 2010), and this effect appears to be robust across diverse samples (Marcinkowska et al., 2014). Accordingly, sexual selection of the feminine and the masculine morphological features appear to have been driven at least partially by mate selection, by virtue of the reproductive advantage they confer (Buss, 1995;Puts, 2010Puts, , 2016Rhodes, 2006). ...
Article
Full-text available
Gendered marketing is a pervasive trend, despite the public controversies it generates. Most of research so far has focused on the socialization-based perspectives of gendered marketing to explain this phenomenon. In this research, we ask the following instrumental question: which benefits can men and women derive from owning gender-typical variants of consumer goods? We propose that gender-typical products can act as the extended phenotype of human sexual dimorphism, broadcasting a cultural equivalent to the signals issued by biological, secondary sexual characteristics. Based on evidence showing that secondary sexual characteristics increase attractiveness and desirability, we predict that gender-typical products increase the attractiveness and desirability of their owners by acting as supernormal stimuli of sexual dimorphism. An internal meta-analysis across three studies confirms that consumers who own gender-typical products are mentally pictured as more physically attractive. We also find that owners of gender-typical products can be perceived as sexier, and more desirable partners.
... However, among studies on physical appearance, it has been shown that two of the main features that people evaluate through physical appearance are others' attractiveness and trustworthiness (e.g., Willis & Todorov, 2006). In line with this idea, many studies have shown that attractiveness and trustworthiness were modulated by body appearance (including posture) (e.g., Fink et al., 2015;Osborn, 1996;Singh et al., 2010;Vacharkulksemsuk et al., 2016). In consideration of these findings, more systematic examinations are needed to reveal temporal aspects of social impressions through body posture. ...
... Nevertheless, physical characteristics are related to desirable impressions are basically inherent, and their nature makes them difficult to change (that is, they are uncontrollable). For instance, brown eyes are correlated with impressions of trustworthiness (Kleisner et al., 2013), lower-pitched (f0) male voices and higher-pitched female voices are generally attractive to listeners of the opposite sex (e.g., Collins, 2000;Collins & Missing, 2003;Fraccaro et al., 2011), and body-mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) play a critical role in the evaluation of female physical attractiveness by men (Conley & McCabe, 2011;Furnham et al., 2005;Singh et al., 2010). Thus, it is possible to infer that some of us naturally have these attractive physical properties, while some of us do not have them, which leads to a question: What can those who do not have these attractive properties do to improve their own social impressions? ...
Article
Full-text available
People often try to improve their social impressions by performing “good” postures, particularly when others are evaluating them. We aimed to investigate whether such postural management to modulate social impressions are indeed effective, and in the case that they are effective, which impressions are modulated and how quickly these impressions are formed. In total, 207 participants in two different experiments (72 participants in Experiment 1; 135 in Experiment 2) reported their impressions from photographs where other people performed “good” or “bad” postures in three viewing angles (back, front, and side). Participants were presented with a total of 96 pictures without time limitation in Experiment 1; then, for Experiment 2, they were presented with the same pictures, but with time limitations (100, 500, or 1000 ms). In both experiments, participants were asked to report their impressions for each photograph related to the person’s attractiveness, trustworthiness, or dominance. Results showed that the people with “good” postures were generally rated as more attractive and trustworthy. More importantly, it was found that impressions formed after a 100 ms exposure had high correlations with impressions formed in the absence of time constraints, suggesting that the sight of a managed posture for 100 ms is sufficient for people to form social impressions. The findings suggest that people quickly make attractiveness and trustworthiness impressions based on managed postures.
... Therefore, more physically attractive people are predicted to have stronger "bargaining hands" and a higher probability of competitive success against same-sex rivals (Fales et al., 2016;Frederick & Jenkins, 2015). Evidence supporting this argument comes in several forms: the considerable cross-cultural agreement in who is considered to be attractive (Sugiyama, 2005(Sugiyama, , 2016Langlois et al., 2000;Little, 2014;Singh, Dixson, Jessop, Morgan, & Dixson, 2010), the importance ascribed to physical attractiveness in both long-term (romantic) and short-term (sexual) partners across different countries (Buss, 1989;Chang, Wang, Shackelford, & Buss, 2011;Fales et al., 2016;Kamble, Shackelford, Pham, & Buss, 2014;Li & Kenrick, 2006;Li, Valentine, & Patel, 2011), the "choosiness" (i.e., heightened mate preference standards) of people who perceive themselves to be more attractive (Arnocky, 2018;Buss & Shackelford, 2008;Pawłowski & Dunbar, 1999;Todd, Penke, Fasolo, & Lenton, 2007), and the greater mating success of those with physically attractive characteristics (Jokela, 2009;Perilloux, Cloud, & Buss, 2013;Sunderani, Arnocky, & Vaillancourt, 2013;Walster, Aronson, Abrahams, & Rottman, 1966). ...
... In the 1700s, Victorian women wore elaborate corsets to achieve an hourglass figure to emphasize their beauty and to indicate their status (Etcoff, 1999;Steele, 2001). Although these garments caused women significant pain and discomfort, they likely appealed to men's preference for women with a small waist relative to broader hips (i.e., a low waist-to-hip ratio (WHR); Singh et al., 2010), which may serve as a cue to current pregnancy status, parity (number of previous pregnancies), health, and/or fecundity (Bovet, 2019). Corsets as luxury items likely also permitted women to competitively display their status, which is an important, and underappreciated, part of women's intrasexual rivalry (Arnocky & Vaillancourt, 2017;Hudders, De Backer, Fisher, & Vyncke, 2014;Liesen, 2013;Vaillancourt, 2013;Vaillancourt & Krems, 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have highlighted numerous sociocultural factors that have been shown to underpin human appearance enhancement practices, including the influence of peers, family, the media, and sexual objectification. Fewer scholars have approached appearance enhancement from an evolutionary perspective or considered how sociocultural factors interact with evolved psychology to produce appearance enhancement behavior. Following others, we argue that evidence from the field of evolutionary psychology can complement existing sociocultural models by yielding unique insight into the historical and cross-cultural ubiquity of competition over aspects of physical appearance to embody what is desired by potential mates. An evolutionary lens can help to make sense of reliable sex and individual differences that impact appearance enhancement, as well as the context-dependent nature of putative adaptations that function to increase physical attractiveness. In the current review, appearance enhancement is described as a self-promotion strategy used to enhance reproductive success by rendering oneself more attractive than rivals to mates, thereby increasing one’s mate value. The varied ways in which humans enhance their appearance are described, as well as the divergent tactics used by women and men to augment their appearance, which correspond to the preferences of opposite-sex mates in a heterosexual context. Evolutionarily relevant individual differences and contextual factors that vary predictably with appearance enhancement behavior are also discussed. The complementarity of sociocultural and evolutionary perspectives is emphasized and recommended avenues for future interdisciplinary research are provided for scholars interested in studying appearance enhancement behavior.
... Asians are more susceptible towards thin-ideal as the cultural beauty norm which has been supported in many previous studies (Yang, 2013, Haboush et al., 2012, Swami et al., 2010. Women are subjected to the thin-ideal, which involves women possessing a thin hourglass shape while men"s standard of attractiveness would indicate a muscular build characterised by a V-shape (well-developed upper body and a slender lower body) (Boisvert and Harrell, 2010, Vilhjalmsson et al., 2012, Singh et al., 2010. Non-weight-related appearance trends such as tanning have also been researched as one of the characteristics of being attractive for more positive impression (Yoo and Kim, 2012). ...
... Non-weight-related appearance trends such as tanning have also been researched as one of the characteristics of being attractive for more positive impression (Yoo and Kim, 2012). On the other hand, factors such as aging and a wider waist-hip ratio are non-weight-related factors that are defined as unattractive (Haboush et al., 2012, Singh et al., 2010. ...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: With the rise and fall of many communication platforms embedded into our everyday lives and the on-going maturity of the digitalization era, social media usage has tremendously increased over the past decade. The purpose of this research is to identify to what extent self-esteem and the influence of friends’ impact children's perception of their body image through social media and how powerful social media in influencing the body image of children.Methodology: The theoretical implication of this study is to expand the usage of Signalling theory, Sociocultural theory and Social Comparison theory towards better explaining children’s behaviours and the factors that impact children view of their body image. 282 children were recruited using the snowball sampling technique and data collected were analysed using Smart-PLS to see the impacts and relationship between all variables.Results: This study found that the self-esteem and friends do impacts body comparison on social media. However, the self-esteem is negatively correlated. The study also identified that there is a significance direct relationship between the direct impacts of self-esteem and friends towards the body image. On the other hand, the social media is found to have no direct impact on body image.Conclusion/- and Recommendations: This study provides a better insight for the government on the importance of regulation of advertisements particularly via social media and for the society at large to create a more socially supportive environment for adolescents to communicate and help them grow their mind-set on the acceptable and realistic standards of beauty as well as contributes to the existing knowledge on the role of social media and adds knowledge to how powerful social media in giving impacts to body image among adolescences.
... PA can also reduce obesity and induce physiological processes that are necessary for successful reproduction (Međedović & Bulut, 2019); people with an average body mass live longer and healthier (Flegal et al., 2005) and have a better chance of mating (Jensen et al., 2004;Jokela et al., 2008). In addition, research has found that females with a lower waist-hip ratio have higher levels of health and fertility (Zaadstra et al., 1993) and are more attractive to men in various cultures (Singh et al., 2010). Hence, females often do exercise to lose weight in order to achieve an attractive body shape in modern environments, whereas most male PA programs aim to increase muscle mass with an emphasis on improving the upper-body shape (Jonason, 2007). ...
Article
Full-text available
Evolutionary psychology has provided a groundbreaking approach to understanding human cognitive architecture during the last few decades, yet this approach has been overlooked when investigating and designing cognitive enhancement therapies. In this article, we posit that understanding why integrated cognitive, emotional, and motor (CEM) systems evolved in the first place can help researchers develop more effective cognitive enhancement strategies. From an evolutionary perspective, a wide range of CEM systems was designed by natural selection to deal with adaptive problems and maximize reproductive success during the ancestral hunter-gatherer era. However, adaptive CEM systems lie largely dormant in modern life due to the environments and challenges in which they evolved no longer being relevant. In exploring this perspective, we present a theoretical model to explain why interconnected CEM systems evolved in ancestral environments. From this viewpoint, and considered in light of current cognitive enhancement strategies and successes involving cognitive training, neurostimulation, and physical exercise, we establish a novel framework for evolutionary cognitive enhancement (ECE) therapy that aims to reawaken adaptive CEM systems. Keywords: Adaptations; Ancestral Environments; Body Movements; Cognitive and Physical Training; Evolutionary Perspective
... Such traits are strongly subjective, even if they may be at least partly linked to non-observable biological parameters [118,119], or to bodily gestures and postures that may be intensely attractive for a large number of people [120]. Finally, there may be certain desirable physical traits, also in terms of dimension, color, and form, which may also draw social recognition once they are made the object of general appreciation [121]. Expressive style and sexual magnetism, in their evocation of certain personality traits, may also be seen from a male perspective as a pre-test of psychological compatibility. ...
Article
Full-text available
We introduce a typological characterization of possible human heterosexual couples in terms of the concordance-opposition of the orientations of their active and receptive areas as defined by the tie-up theory. We show that human mating incentives, as characterized by widely adopted approaches, such as Becker’s marriage market approach, only capture very specific instances of actual couples thus characterized. Our approach allows us to instead explore how super-cooperation among partners vs. convenience vs. constriction may be regarded as alternatives modes of couple formation and cohesion, leading to very different types of couples with different implications in terms of stability and resilience. Our results may have interesting implications for future experimental research and for individual and family counseling.
... The original version of this article contained an error in how the results of a prior research study were reported. The 3rd sentence under the section "Inferred Social Value of Male and Female Features" should read as "For example, men valuate women's waist-to-hip ratio in attractiveness, which although not associated with fertility is associated with women's maximum reproductive value (Lassek and Gaulin 2018;Singh et al. 2010)." The citations in this correction correspond to the these references: ...
Article
Full-text available
The original version of this article contained an error in how the results of a prior research study were reported.
... The preference for lower WHR and its association with attractiveness of women seems to be confirmed for both sexes and across ethnicities and cultures (Furnham, Tan, & McManus, 1997;Henss, 1995;Singh & Luis, 1995). However, while in some cultures the preferred ratio seems to be consistent and around 0.7 (Furnham, McClelland, & Omer, 2003;Singh, Dixson, Jessop, Morgan, & Dixson, 2010), different nationalities report slightly different ratios (Dixson, Dixson, Li, & Anderson, 2007;Dixson, Dixson, Morgan, & Anderson, 2007;Marlowe, Apicella, & Reed, 2005). For example, European subjects (i.e. ...
Article
Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and breast size are considered important biological features defining female body attractiveness; but their neurophysiological correlates remain largely unknown. To shed light on this issue, behavioral and electroencephalographic responses were recorded while healthy heterosexual men and women completed an oddball task, which was then followed by an attractiveness judgement task. In both cases participants were presented with female body forms that combined 0.6, 0.7 or 0.8 WHRs with small or large breast sizes. Brain activity dynamics were explored using temporal principal component analysis of the event-related potentials data. Variance in the data was explained mostly by eight temporal factors for the oddball task and six for the attractiveness judgement task. Lower WHRs seemed to gather larger processing resources than higher WHRs at early perceptual-related processes during the oddball task. The less attractive WHRs and breast sizes, in contrast, seemed to boost allocation of resources later in the processing stream, which may be due to a negativity bias enhancing evaluation and decision-making processes. This inference is supported by results from the attractiveness judgement task, although the observer's gender may also play a role. Finally, LORETA analysis of the temporal factors indicate that variations in WHR may modulate activation of frontal regions, such as the anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortex, that are related with reward processing and decision-making; while variations in breast size may influence activity in posterior parietal regions involved in human body perception. This paper highlights the biological importance of female body physical features in defining attractiveness, and the neurophysiological correlates that are implicated.
... Despite an obvious malleability in the criteria for female beauty, some standards are remarkably robust, not only through time but also across cultures. A preference for a female body shape with a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7 has been found in men across many cultures (Singh, Dixson, et al. 2010). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter I discuss the history and beautifying function of cosmetics, along with the sexual politics that such practices implicate and express. Though tattooing, scarifying, and body painting are other common ways of marking the body and can also serve a beautifying function, I do not consider them. Here I will focus mainly on ways of decorating the face and head. Such practices are widespread and ancient. *** I begin with an overview of the importance of cosmetics in different cultures in the course of history. Of course, this account is incomplete. These are the key points: the use of cosmetics is ancient and ubiquitous, but, nevertheless, the attitude (especially of men) toward cosmetics is also often negative or ambivalent. The term cosmetics derives from the Greek kosmos, meaning order or adornment. Cosmetics include skin-care products, balms, medications, and the like. The term makeup is usually reserved for beauty products.
... Thus, there appears to be a historical pattern for low sex ratios to be associated with idealized figures that are less feminine. Again, although this is congruent with Pedersen's interpretation, it contradicts the mating supply and demand hypothesis that women in low sex ratio societies are competing to display traits men find attractive (as men find feminine waist-to-hip ratios; Singh, Dixson, Jessop, Morgan, & Dixson, 2010). This pattern appears to be more consistent with the 'faithful as your options' hypothesis, given that women perceive highquality feminine traits, like feminine faces, curvier busts, and lower waist-to-hip ratios, to be greater competitive threats than low-quality feminine traits (Fink, Klappauf, Brewer, & Shackelford, 2014). ...
... Studies quantifying women's preferences for facial symmetry using 2AFC may reflect whether women can detect facial asymmetries rather than the strength of their preferences for symmetry (Lewis, 2017). However, 2AFC paradigms have been effective in identifying men and women's preferences for bodily attractiveness Marcinkowska et al., 2018a;Singh et al., 2010), women's preferences for facial masculinity (DeBruine et al., 2006;Marcinkowska et al., 2019aMarcinkowska et al., , 2019bScott et al., 2014), and beardedness (Dixson et al., 2018b). ...
Article
Mating strategy theories assert that women's preferences for androgen dependent traits in men are stronger when the costs of reduced paternal investment are lowest. Past research has shown that preferences for facial masculinity are stronger among nulliparous and non-pregnant women than pregnant or parous women. In two studies, we examine patterns in women's preferences for men's facial hair - likely the most visually conspicuous and sexually dimorphic of men's secondary sexual traits - when evaluating men's masculinity, dominance, age, fathering, and attractiveness. Two studies were conducted among heterosexual pregnant women, mothers, non-contractive and contraceptive users. Study 1 used a between-subjects sample (N = 2103) and found that mothers had significantly higher preferences for beards when judging fathering than all other women. Pregnant women and mothers also judged beards as more masculine and older, but less attractive, than non-contractive and contraceptive users. Parous women judged beards higher for age, masculinity and fathering, but lower for attractiveness, than nulliparous women. Irrespective of reproductive status, beards were judged as looking more dominant than clean-shaven faces. Study 2 used a within-subjects design (N = 53) among women surveyed during pregnancy and three months post-partum. Judgments of parenting skills were higher for bearded stimuli during pregnancy among women having their first baby, whereas among parous women parenting skills judgments for bearded stimuli were higher post-partum. Our results suggest that mothers are sensitive to beardedness as a masculine secondary sexual characteristic that may denote parental investment, providing evidence that women's mate preferences could reflect sexual selection for direct benefits.
... Further studies confirmed the effect of WHR on attractiveness across gender and ethnicity (Furnham, Tan, & McManus, 1997;Henss, 1995;Singh, 1993b;Singh & Luis, 1995). Although many results confirm that the preferred ratio of .70 is consistent across cultures (Furnham, McClelland, & Omer, 2003;Singh, Dixson, Jessop, Morgan, & Dixson, 2010), other disconfirmatory results have been obtained from non-Western populations that report preferences for WHRs that are either slightly higher (e.g., .80 in Cameroon) or lower (e.g., .60 in China) (Dixson, Dixson, Li, & Anderson, 2007a;Dixson, Dixson, Morgan, & Anderson, 2007b). ...
Article
Full-text available
In women, the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is an indicator of attractiveness, health, youthfulness, and reproductive potential. In the current study, we hypothesized that viewing angle and body postures influence the attractiveness of these forms based on the view dependency of WHR stimuli (vdWHR). Using eye tracking, we quantified the number of fixations and dwell time on 3D images of a female avatar in two different poses (standing and contrapposto) from eight viewing angles incrementing in 45 degrees of rotation. A total of 68 heterosexual individuals (25 men and 43 women) participated in the study. Results showed that the contrapposto pose was perceived as more attractive than the standing pose and that lower vdWHR sides of the stimuli attracted more first fixation, total fixations, and dwell time. Overall, the results supported that WHR is view-dependent and vdWHRs lower than optimal WHRs are supernormal stimuli that may generate peak shifts in responding. Results are discussed in terms of the attractiveness of women’s movements (gaits and dance) and augmented artistic presentations.
... From an evolutionary perspective, this aesthetic cue can be related to the mating module, for an hourglass figure in women has adaptive benefits in that it has been demonstrated to be a reliable cue of fertility and health (Singh 2002). Research from a diverse set of disciplines has demonstrated that this preference is relatively stable across different local environments -it is established in widely different racial populations and cultures (Singh et al. 2010), and found in analyses of 286 Egyptian, African, Greco-Roman, and Indian sculptures and statuettes going back several millennia (Singh 2002) and 155 prehistoric Jomon figurines (Hudson and Aoyama 2007). As a human universal, this advertising cue can be cross-culturally transferred using a standardization approach. ...
Conference Paper
The standardization/adaptation debate in international advertising is a topic on which little consensus prevails and which remains heavily discussed. By relying on evolutionary psychology, I develop a typology of advertising cues and explain their cross-cultural transportability. I highlight three distinct categories – human universals (evolved similarities), local adaptations (evolved differences), and local socialization (differences not due to evolution). The paper contributes to advertising theory by providing a meta-framework for the study of cross-cultural similarities and differences in the processing of advertising cues. It further assists advertising practice by delivering a framework aiding in cross-cultural advertising copy decisions.
... Evolved mate preferences often target attributes that signal dimensions of reproductive health (Buss and Schmitt, 1993;Puts, 2010). In women, age-related physical cues such as feminine facial shape, breast morphology, and an hourglass distribution of body fat are attractive to men (Jasieńska et al., 2004;Singh et al., 2010;Dixson et al., 2011Dixson et al., , 2015Marcinkowska et al., 2014), ostensibly because they signal fecundability. In men, muscularity, vocal pitch, and facial masculinity provide information regarding health, age, social status, dominance, and formidability, that enhance mating success (Archer, 2009;Puts, 2010;Hill et al., 2013;Dixson et al., 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
Desirable characteristics of “opposite sex others,” such as physical attractiveness and economic status, can influence how individuals are judged, and this is different for men and women. However, under various social contexts where cues of higher or lower economic status is suggested, sex differences in judgments related to mate choice have not been fully explored. In two studies, ratings of economic status and attractiveness were quantified for male and female targets that were presented under various social contexts. Study 1 assessed judgments (n = 1,359) of images of nine male and nine female targets in different sized groups containing only opposite-sex others (i.e., group size). While we found no significant effects of group size on male and female attractiveness, target female economic status increased when surrounded by two or more men. An ad hoc analysis controlling for the attire of the targets (business or casual) found that the association between target female economic status and group size occurred when females were in business attire. Study 2 investigates this effect further by presenting images of 12 males and 12 females, in higher and lower status attire (i.e., business and casual clothing) and measured judgments of attractiveness and economic status among women and men (n = 1,038). Consistent with the results of Study 1, female economic status was only affected when women were in business attire. However, female economic status decreased when in the presence of other men in business attire. There were no sex differences in judgments of economic status when judging stimuli in casual attire. Additionally, negative associations between attractiveness and economic status were found for males presented in casual attire. We discuss these results in the light of evolutionary sexual conflict theory by demonstrating how the asymmetrical importance of status between men and women can influence mate choice judgments.
... This novel anthropometric index could have the possibility of being related to hypertension, cardiovascular disease and even physical attractiveness. [4][5][6][7] Euclidean geometry was applied to derive a possible novel anthropometric index. The geometrical approach led to a derivation of a trigonometric relationship among minimal waist, umbilical waist and hip circumferences. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To develop a novel sex independent anthropometric index, termed as angle index, related to type 2 diabetes. Design: Case-control. Participants: The study comprised 121 participants and were divided into two groups. One group had no form of diabetes and served as controls (n=50). The other group had the condition of type 2 diabetes (n=71). 31% (n=37) of the subjects were male and 69% (n=84) were female. 62% (n=75) of the subjects were of East Indian ethnicity, 28% (n=34) were of African ethnicity and 10% (n=12) were of mixed ethnicity. Setting: Participants of the study were from the island of Trinidad, located in the Caribbean. Patients in the study were selected at random from hospital records. Primary outcome measure: It was hypothesised that the mean angle index of patients with type 2 diabetes would be higher than the mean angle index of patients without type 2 diabetes. Results: Patients with type 2 diabetes had a significantly higher angle index value as compared with controls (p<0.001). Angle index was the superior sex independent anthropometric index in relation to type 2 diabetes (area under the curve=0.72; p<0.001) as compared with other sex independent variables. Angle index correlated with glycated haemoglobin (rs=0.28, p=0.003) and fasting blood glucose (rs=0.31, p=0.001) levels. Patients with type 2 diabetes were four times more likely to have an angle index greater than 184° (OR 4.2, 95% CI 1.8 to 9.9) as compared with controls. Conclusion: Angle index was a superior sex independent index for discriminating between patients with and without type 2 diabetes, as compared with waist circumference, abdominal volume index, conicity index, blood pressure readings, triglyceride levels and very low-density lipoprotein levels.
... For example, a study by Dixson et al. (2017) found no evidence to support the hypothesis that males from rural area would prefer females faces associated with higher levels of facial adiposity. A series of studies conducted in China, Papua New Guinea, Cameroon, Indonesia, Samoa and New Zealand, also found a high degree of cross-cultural consensus when participants were asked to judge female body attractiveness, with both males and females preferring a lower waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) regardless of BMI (Dixson et al., 2010a,b;Singh et al., 2010). These results suggest that sexually dimorphic fat distribution could in fact be more important than overall BMI when judging female body attractiveness, even across ethnicities or socio-economic regions. ...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between facial cues and perceptions of health and attractiveness in others plays an influential role in our social interactions and mating behaviors. Several facial cues have historically been investigated in this regard, with facial adiposity being the newest addition. Evidence is mounting that a robust link exists between facial adiposity and attractiveness, as well as perceived health. Facial adiposity has also been linked to various health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, blood pressure, immune function, diabetes, arthritis, oxidative stress, hormones, and mental health. Though recent advances in the analysis of facial morphology has led to significant strides in the description and quantification of facial cues, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a great deal of nuance in the way that humans use and integrate facial cues to form coherent social or health judgments of others. This paper serves as a review of the current literature on the relationship between facial adiposity, attractiveness, and health. A key component in utilizing facial adiposity as a cue to health and attractiveness perceptions is that people need to be able to estimate body mass from facial cues. To estimate the strength of the relationship between perceived facial adiposity and body mass, a meta-analysis was conducted on studies that quantified the relationship between perceived facial adiposity and BMI/percentage body fat. Summary effect size estimates indicate that participants could reliably estimate BMI from facial cues alone (r = 0.71, n = 458).
... If factors associated with fecundity are observable within the human face, then these factors will again be valuable aids to successful male reproductive effort. It is posited that more attractive females are also those who display more feminine 1 Buckinghamshire New University, Wycombe, United Kingdom features, whether in the face through, for example, less pronounced jaws and chins (Enlow, 1990), or in the body through, for example, lower waist to hip ratio (Karremans, Frankenhuis, & Arons, 2010;Singh, Dixson, Jessop, Morgan, & Dixson, 2010). Good genes sexual selection theory (Trivers, 1972) suggests that individuals will select mates based on traits that honestly evidence good genes and that the inherent advantages they bestowed on their offspring's survival or reproductive success is based on such a premise, though more recent research shows that cross-cultural factors (e.g., societal development or environmental pathogen load) further influence these preferences (e.g., Little, Cohen, Jones, & Belsky, 2007;Moore et al., 2013;Penton-Voak, Jacobsen, & Trivers, 2004;Scott, Swami, Josephson, & Penton-Voak, 2008;Stephen et al., 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
An increasing body of research focusing on gender-related traits has utilized faciometrics in order to consider sexual dimorphism: Aspects as diverse as social heuristics, facial attractiveness, sexual orientation, aggression, and trustworthiness have all been investigated. However, the majority of these studies have tended to focus on White or Caucasian student populations and have paid little regard to either older populations or racial background. The current study therefore investigated sexual dimorphism in 450 participants (225 women) from a Black population across four age groups (20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s). In line with much previous research using White or Caucasian faces, the expected sexual dimorphism was seen in the younger age-group in three of the four indices (cheekbone prominence, facial width to lower facial height, and lower face height to full face height). However, consistent with more recent literature, the facial width to height ratio (fWHR) was not found to be significantly different between men and women in this age-group. Contrary to previous research, when considering broader age groups, the three established measures of facial sexual dimorphism, when looked at independently, remained static over time, but this was not true for fWHR. It is concluded that facial structure does not follow the same aging trajectory in all populations and care should be taken in choice of facial metric, depending on the nature of the sample under investigation.
... Previous research has shown that attractiveness judgements of faces, WHR and body mass index are correlated (Thornhill and Grammer 1999). Thus, one exciting area for future research is to include other cues of reproductive value, such as facial features and/or WHR in combination with breast features, since WHR is an important physical feature in rating women's attractiveness (Dixson et al. 2011a(Dixson et al. , 2011bSingh et al. 2010). Facial features have been shown to influence reproductive value (Confer et al. 2010;Jonason et al. 2012;Perilloux and Cloud 2019) and show variation in judgements depending on a perceiver's age (Marcinkowska et al. 2017) and culture (Marcinkowska et al. 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
Unlike other mammals, human females have evolved so that their breasts remain enlarged. Previous research has related the size and shape of women’s breasts with women’s reproductive potential and attractiveness. Objective To provide a more complete picture of these issues, the current study extended previous research by investigating the effects of breast size, intermammary cleft distance, and ptosis on perceived attractiveness, health, fertility, and age while also measuring individual differences in life history, self-perceived mate value, and sexism. Method Participants (men and women) viewed images of women’s breasts that were manipulated for size, ptosis, and intermammary cleft; and participants rated the breasts for their perceived attractiveness, fertility, health, and age. Results Results showed that the perception of attractiveness, fertility, health, and age were influenced by size, cleft distance, ptosis, and hostile sexism. Individual differences in life history and self-perceived mate value also influenced preferences. Conclusion Our results show that perceived attractiveness of breasts is associated with perceptions of fertility, health, and age. The findings from the current study represent an important step toward achieving a comprehensive account on how women’s breasts influence perception on traits associated with mate preferences, fertility, and reproductive value.
... From an evolutionary perspective, this aesthetic cue is related to the key fundamental motive of reproduction, for an hourglass figure in women has been demonstrated to be a reliable cue of fertility and health (Singh, 2002). Research from a diverse set of disciplines has demonstrated that this preference is relatively stable across different environments -it is established in widely different racial populations and cultures (Singh, Dixson, Jessop, Morgan, & Dixson, 2010), and has been found in analyses of 286 9 Egyptian, African, Greco-Roman, and Indian sculptures and statuettes going back several millennia (Singh, 2002) as well as 155 prehistoric Jomon figurines (Hudson & Aoyama, 2007). As a human universal, this advertising cue can be cross-culturally transferred successfully using a standardization approach. ...
Conference Paper
The standardization/adaptation debate in cross-cultural advertising is a topic on which little consensus prevails and which remains heavily discussed. Using evolutionary psychology, we develop a typology of advertising cues and explain their cross-cultural relevance and transportability. We highlight three distinct categories – human universals (evolved similarities), local adaptations (evolved differences), and local socialization (differences not due to evolution). The paper contributes to advertising theory by providing a meta-framework for the study of cross-cultural similarities and differences in the processing of advertising cues. It further assists advertising practice by delivering a framework aiding in cross-cultural advertising copy decisions.
... Further, this study only considered facial attractiveness. Although facial attractiveness is an important component of attractiveness (Pedersen et al., 1994), there are other physical (e.g., physique; Dixson et al., 2011;Singh et al., 2010) and behavioral (e.g., dance movements, proceptivity; Fink et al., 2015;Mishra et al., 2007;Roder et al., 2016) characteristics that are also potentially relevant. Additionally, due to the inherent challenges associated with recruiting participants with unique characteristics such as the sisters of male androphiles in a cross-cultural field setting, as well as the need to limit the length of the experiment so it was not too onerous for male raters, the present study considered a relatively small convenience sample of 25 sisters of male androphiles and 25 comparison women. ...
Article
Androphilia refers to sexual attraction toward adult males. Androphilic males’ female genetic relatives might offset the fitness cost of androphilia by having elevated numbers of offspring. Increased attractiveness relative to other women may enable these females to marry up the social hierarchy, providing greater access to resources to support more offspring. In Thailand, there is a marked status hierarchy and male androphiles are highly visible – identifying as gay men or as a third gender known as sao praphet song. Thus, a field experiment was conducted in which 208 heterosexual men rated the facial attractiveness of 25 sisters of Thai gay men or sao praphet song and 25 comparison women with no known same-sex attracted relatives. Contrary to the prediction, the comparison group was rated as more attractive than the sisters, casting doubt on hypotheses that posit greater attractiveness of female relatives of male androphiles as a proximate mechanism facilitating the evolutionary maintenance of genes influencing male androphilia. Also, men from rural areas rated the women, regardless of group, as more attractive than men from urban areas, consistent with some prior studies showing rural-urban differences in perceptions of attractiveness.
... These networks consider a range of evidence from disciplines that appear to converge on a consistent conclusion. In the case of an hourglass figure preference for women among men, Saad presented evidence that the hourglass figure confers biological cues suggestive of youth and fertility (Butovskaya et al., 2017;Lassek & Gaulin, 2019), resulting in a cross-cultural sexual preference among men using a range of psychophysiological outcomes (Del Zotto & Pegna, 2017;Dixson et al., 2011;Singh et al., 2010). In the sexual services domain, an hourglass figure (operationalized as a waist-to-hip ratio of approximately 0.70) is consistently reported by female sex workers in their online service advertisements (Saad, 2008), with a figure more closely matching this ratio being associated with a higher fee being charged by female escorts (Griffith et al., 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of review: The topic of sex doll ownership is becoming an increasingly discussed issue from both a social and legal perspective. This review aims to examine the veracity of the existing psychological, sexological, and legal literature in relation to doll ownership. Recent findings: Strong views exist across the spectrum of potential socio-legal positions on sex doll ownership. However, there is an almost total lack of empirical analyses of the psychological characteristics or behavioral implications of doll ownership. As such, existing arguments appear to represent the philosophical positions of those scholars expressing them, rather than being rooted in any objective evidence base. Despite an absence of empirical data on the characteristics and subsequent effects of doll ownership, discussions about the ethical and legal status of doll ownership continue. This highlights a real and urgent need for a coherent research agenda to be advanced in this area of work.
... Furthermore, the majority of men show minimal sexual attraction or arousal to their non-preferred sex (e.g., Lippa, 2017;Rieger et al., 2005). Most men are specifically attracted to women who have qualities that cue reproductive viability, such as youth and sexual maturity (Cunningham, 1986;Cunningham et al., 1995), exaggerated female-typical facial features (Barber, 1995;Cunningham, 1986;Cunningham et al., 1995;Pflüger et al., 2012;Thornhill & Gangestad, 1999), and low waist-to-hip ratios (Singh et al., 2010;Suschinsky et al., 2007). ...
Article
Feminine trans individuals (i.e., individuals who were assigned male at birth but who have a feminine gender presentation and identity) are present in many cultures. In some cultures, these individuals identify as (trans) women. Many of these individuals undergo medical treatments to feminize their bodies (e.g., breast augmentation), but most do not undergo vaginoplasties and therefore have penises. In many non-Western cultures, feminine trans individuals identify as a non-binary gender (i.e., neither man, nor woman). Many of these individuals do not surgically augment their bodies. Across cultures, some men express sexual interest in feminine trans individuals. Are manifestations of sexual interest in feminine trans individuals consistent across Western and non-Western cultural settings? Our review suggests that, across cultures, most of these men are also sexually attracted to cisgender individuals. Many are sexually attracted to cisgender women or to cisgender members of both sexes. A small subset is sexually attracted to cisgender men. Men who are sexually interested in feminine trans individuals commonly report being primarily insertive during anal sex. Additionally, they tend to report that their sexual interest in these individuals is motivated by attraction to femininity or to the combination female- and male-typical characteristics.
... This was the basis for the claim that we should abandon the "unsophisticated" porn star design of sex dolls and robots, and to instead create "robots that are more realistic in their representations (both physical and behavioral) of women, that represent men, and that perhaps challenge the gender binary" (Danaher, 2019a, p. 142). However, the physical features of popular sex doll models (e.g., larger breasts, combined with a waist-to-hip ratio of approximately 0.70; Kock et al., 2008;Valverde, 2012) correspond to evolutionary cues that men find sexually attractive across a range of cultures and measurement approaches (Brooks et al., 2010;Buss, 2021;Del Zotto & Pegna, 2017;Dixson et al., 2011;Griffith et al., 2016;Saad, 2008Saad, , 2017Singh et al., 2010). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ownership of sex dolls has become an increasingly controversial social issue over the last five-to-ten years, with many in society (and academia) calling for the criminalization of such dolls. At the root of these calls is the implicit (and often explicit) assumption that sex doll ownership contributes to increases in social objectification of women, and sexual offense risk among doll owners. However, there are yet to be any empirical examinations of these claims. In this work we compare the psychological characteristics of sex doll owners (n = 158) and non-owner controls (n = 135). Contrary to widely held social attitudes, we found no substantive differences in sexual objectification between the two groups. Doll owners typically had more sexual fantasies related to coercion (biastophilia), but lower offense proclivity, than controls. Owners were also more likely to see women as unknowable, have less secure attachment styles, and more stable negative mood. We begin to build a psychological profile of sex doll ownership, before highlighting the need for more evidence-informed social debates about the use of sex dolls in modern society.
... Studies of female physical attractiveness using stimuli varying naturally in WHR and BMI reported BMI explained 2-3 times more variance in attractiveness ratings than WHR (Swami & Tovee, 2005Swami et al., 2006. To test whether BMI or WHR determines female attractiveness, studies using preand postoperative images of the same women following micrograft surgery to reduce WHR found low WHRs were preferred across cultures irrespective of changes in postoperative BMI (Dixson et al., 2010b;Singh et al., 2010). Unfortunately, all these studies reduced female attractiveness to just two dimensions when bodies are defined by suites of correlated indices (Brooks et al., 2010;Dixson, 2018). ...
... Numerous studies have determined that both men and women in Western contexts deem fat bodies to be less attractive and less desirable than skinnier bodies (e.g., E. C. Hill, 1975;Singh, 1994;Singh & Young, 1995;Smith et al., 2007;Weeden & Sabini, 2005Wilson et al., 2005). However, these results are complicated by the contributions of variables such as waist-to-hip ratio, which tends to emerge as a strong predictor of attractiveness in some cultural contexts (e.g., Dixson et al., 2010b;Furnham et al., 2006;Singh et al., 2010), but not others; in some small-scale societies, larger bodies with lower waist-to-hip ratios are evaluated as more attractive (Sugiyama, 2004;Wetsman & Marlowe, 1999;Yu & Shepard, 1998). This discrepancy may be due to factors such as resource scarcity; in cultures and in historical milieus where resource scarcity is present, larger bodies represent health, status, and the ability to obtain resources, and are therefore perceived as attractive (Anderson et al., 1992). ...
Article
Full-text available
The assumptions people make from body shape can have serious implications for the well-being of the individuals inhabiting such bodies. Fat people are subject to pervasive and resilient social stigma and discrimination, leading to negative mental and physical health outcomes, including negative sexuality- related outcomes. Though previous studies have examined the personality traits attributed to, or the sexual attractiveness of, varying body shapes, no research has asked participants to make attributions of sexual traits to varying body shapes. The purpose of this study was thus to examine sexuality-related trait inferences made from body shapes. Participants (N = 891, 70% women, Mage = 25.28) were randomly assigned to view 5 computer-generated 3-dimensional body models of varying shapes developed using the skinned multi-person linear model. Participants rated their sexual attraction to each body and the degree to which each of 30 traits (10 personality and 20 sexual) applied. Results demonstrated that larger bodies are generally viewed as less sexually attractive. Further, constellations of sexuality traits were predicted reliably by body shape, demonstrating that people hold sexual stereotypes about a diverse range of body shapes. This study provides an initial comprehensive demonstration of the sexuality- specific traits associated with varying body shapes.
... Thus, there appears to be a historical pattern for low sex ratios to be associated with idealized figures that are less feminine. Again, although this is congruent with Pedersen's interpretation, it contradicts the mating supply and demand hypothesis that women in low sex ratio societies are competing to display traits men find attractive (as men find feminine waist-to-hip ratios; Singh, Dixson, Jessop, Morgan, & Dixson, 2010). This pattern appears to be more consistent with the 'faithful as your options' hypothesis, given that women perceive highquality feminine traits, like feminine faces, curvier busts, and lower waist-to-hip ratios, to be greater competitive threats than low-quality feminine traits (Fink, Klappauf, Brewer, & Shackelford, 2014). ...
Article
Guttentag and Secord pioneered research on the social consequences of imbalances in the numbers of men and women—the sex ratio. Since then, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and even biologists have investigated its effects on marriage and reproduction. I review the three prevailing theories to explain why sex ratio should affect marriage and reproduction, along with the evidence that it does. I also review the growing evidence that sex ratio imbalances are associated with mate choice. Sex ratio reveals contradictory relationships with mate preferences and actual partner choice, however, raising a conundrum for future research. Overall, there is strong experimental and correlational support for the patterns of marriage and reproduction associated with sex ratio. What emerges is the necessity for future research to distinguish among the perspectives to explain why.
... First, there may be other socioeconomic factors that were unmeasured, such as wealth, that drive selection. Second, there might be factors such as physical attractiveness that simultaneously select for marriage and health (Rhodes et al. 2007;Singh et al. 2010). Third, perhaps the prospect of being married and reunited with their spouse fosters optimism and reduces stress, thus improving health. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study proposes that visa status is an important construct that is central to understanding how health selection occurs among immigrants. We used the 2017 baseline survey data of the Health of Philippine Emigrants Study ( n = 1,632) to compare the health of nonmigrants remaining in the Philippines and migrants surveyed prior to migration to the United States. Furthermore, we compared migrant health by visa type: limited family reunification, unlimited family reunification, fiancé(e)/marriage, and employment. Migrants reported fewer health conditions than nonmigrants overall. However, health varied among migrants by visa type. Migrants with fiancé(e)/marriage visas were the healthiest, reporting significantly fewer health conditions than the other groups. Limited family reunification migrants reported more health conditions than nonmigrants and unlimited family reunification migrants. We discuss how the immigration visa process reflects broader forms of social and political stratification that cause heterogeneity in immigrant health selection.
... Women prefer more muscular men in STM, given its connotation of good genes (Frederick & Haselton, 2007). Conversely, STM-oriented men particularly value features of women's bodies that purportedly connote fertility (e.g., narrow waists) to increase reproductive success (Brooks, Shelly, Jordan, & Dixson, 2015;Singh, Dixson, Jessop, Morgan, & Dixson, 2010). Furthermore, within this context, individuals select mates whom they infer as exhibiting a matched promiscuity through their behavior or appearance Brown, Sacco, & Medlin, 2019a), as similarly promiscuous mates would be willing to dissolve relations following a sexual encounter (Jonason & Buss, 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Selecting a long-term romantic partner is largely contingent upon identifying behavioral repertoires indicating an ability to foster individual and communal flourishing through benevolence and relational fidelity. Within this suite of socially desirable traits are virtues that could be critical in selecting long-term mates. The current program of research presents two studies investigating the extent people select mates embodying virtue. Study 1 tasked participants with indicating the desirability of prospective mates espousing high and low levels of the three fundamental virtues, as observed through the VIA Model: caring, self-control, and inquisitiveness. High levels of virtue were especially desirable for long-term mating, with the preference for self-control being largest. Study 2 considered dispositional preferences for long-term mating, as indexed through restricted sociosexuality, with sociosexually restricted individuals reporting aversion to prospective mates exhibiting low self-control. We frame results through an evolutionary context and recommend future research to understand the adaptive function of virtue.
... These networks consider a range of evidence from disciplines that appear to converge on a consistent conclusion. In the case of an hourglass figure preference for women among men, Saad presented evidence that the hourglass figure confers biological cues suggestive of youth and fertility (Butovskaya et al., 2017;Lassek & Gaulin, 2019), resulting in a cross-cultural sexual preference among men using a range of psychophysiological outcomes (Del Zotto & Pegna, 2017;Dixson et al., 2011;Singh et al., 2010). In the sexual services domain, an hourglass figure (operationalized as a waist-to-hip ratio of approximately 0.70) is consistently reported by female sex workers in their online service advertisements (Saad, 2008), with a figure more closely matching this ratio being associated with a higher fee being charged by female escorts (Griffith et al., 2016). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Purpose of reviewThe topic of sex doll ownership is becoming an increasingly discussed issue from both a social and legal perspective. This review aims to examine the veracity of the existing psychological, sexological, and legal literature in relation to doll ownership.Recent findingsStrong views exist across the spectrum of potential socio-legal positions on sex doll ownership. However, there is an almost total lack of empirical analyses of the psychological characteristics or behavioral implications of doll ownership. As such, existing arguments appear to represent the philosophical positions of those scholars expressing them, rather than being rooted in any objective evidence base.SummaryDespite an absence of empirical data on the characteristics and subsequent effects of doll ownership, discussions about the ethical and legal status of doll ownership continue. This highlights a real and urgent need for a coherent research agenda to be advanced in this area of work.
Article
The ownership of sex dolls has become an increasingly controversial social issue over the last five to ten years, with many in society (and academia) calling for the criminalization of such dolls. At the root of these calls is the implicit (and often explicit) assumption that sex doll ownership contributes to increases in negative social attitudes toward women, and sexual offense risk among doll owners. However, there are yet to be any empirical examinations of these claims. In this work we compared the psychological characteristics and comparative sexual aggression proclivities of sex doll owners (n = 158) and a non-owner comparison group (n = 135). We found no substantive differences in most psychological traits. Doll owners scored lower than comparators in relation to sexual aggression proclivity. They were, however, more likely to see women as unknowable, the world as dangerous, and have lower sexual self-esteem. They also had more obsessive and emotionally stable personality styles. We conclude that there is no evidence that sex doll owners pose a greater sexual risk than a non-owning comparison group, before highlighting the need for more evidence-informed social debates about the use of sex dolls in modern society.
Article
Full-text available
Mate preference in short-term relationships and long-term ones may depend on many physical, psychological, and socio-cultural factors. In this study, 178 students (81 females) in sports and 153 engineering students (64 females) answered the systemizing quotient (SQ) and empathizing quotient (EQ) questionnaires and had their digit ratio measured. They rated their preferred mate on 12 black-line drawing body figures varying in body mass index (BMI) and waist to hip ratio (WHR) for short-term and long-term relationships. Men relative to women preferred lower WHR and BMI for mate selection for both short-term and long-term relationships. BMI and WHR preference in men is independent of each other, but has a negative correlation in women. For men, digit ratio was inversely associated with BMI (p = 0.039, B = − 0.154) preference in a short-term relationship, and EQ was inversely associated with WHR preference in a long-term relationship (p = 0.045, B = − 0.164). Furthermore, men and women in sports, compared to engineering students, preferred higher (p = 0.009, B = 0.201) and lower BMI (p = 0.034, B = − 0.182) for short-term relationships, respectively. Women were more consistent in their preferences for short-term and long-term relationships relative to men. Both biological factors and social/experiential factors contribute to mate preferences in men while in women, mostly social/experiential factors contribute to them.
Article
Full-text available
The centrality of religiosity in selecting long-term mates suggests atheism could be undesirable for that context. Given recent findings suggesting several positive stereotypes about atheists, a largely distrusted group, individuals could prefer atheists in mating domains not emphasizing long-term commitment (i.e., short-term mating). Two studies tasked U.S. participants with evaluating long-term and short-term mating desirability of theists and atheists while assessing perceptions of their personalities. Study 1 indicated atheists were more desirable in short-term mating than long-term mating, though this preference did not translate to being preferred over theists. The pre-registered Study 2 demonstrated this effect is specific to physically attractive targets. Atheists were further perceived as more prone to infidelity, especially when attractive. Results are framed from an evolutionary perspective while discussing anti-atheist prejudice.
Article
Full-text available
Current literature on women's sexual signaling focuses on modes of attracting potential, new sexual partners, but says little about women's subtle sexual signals in committed, romantic relationships. Subtle sexual signals are inherently private and are only visible to the intended audience; a woman might use these signals to elicit or accept a sexual response from her partner or to increase her overall attractiveness, or attractivity. In this study, we sought to identify women's use of intimate apparel as a proceptive or receptive behavior as well as the effects of relative mate value, relationship commitment, relationship satisfaction, and sexual functioning. A total of N = 353 women in the United States aged 25-45 who were in committed, heterosexual relationships completed the survey; 88.7% of the sample indicated wearing or having worn sexy underwear. Results indicate that women report wearing sexier underwear the day taking the survey if they anticipate sexual activity that same day. However, during the most recent sexual activity, women did not report wearing sexier underwear if they initiated (proceptive) that activity. While relative mate value was not directly related to sexiness of intimate apparel, women who report higher mate value tend to wear sexier underwear. Women's use of intimate apparel might be viewed as a method of increasing attractivity and underlying receptivity to aid relationship maintenance, though caveats regarding measures and alternative interpretations are also discussed. Findings suggest that these women use intimate apparel to feel sexy, desired, aroused, and to prepare for sex with their partners. This study is the first to examine intimate apparel in relationships and as a subtle sexual signal of proceptivity and receptivity.
Article
Female body shape has an apparent influence on mate value as perceived by males. Some researchers have suggested that human male mate preference has evolved to universally favor a specific body shape which can be quantified with a particular value for Waist-Hip Ratio and/or Body Mass Index. Other research has presented evidence that populations of males exhibit differentiated preferences for female body shape. The research literature largely supports the hypothesis that male mate preference for female body shape is variable and dependent upon local resource availability. These conclusions provide insight into the evolutionary processes that have acted to produce adaptive flexibility in human male mate preferences in accordance with the environment.
Article
Full-text available
Recent findings suggest that moral outrage signals trustworthiness to others, and such perceptions play a uniquely important role in identifying social opportunities. We conducted four studies (N = 870) investigating how displays of moral outrage are perceived in the specific context of mating. Results indicated participants, particularly women, found prospective mates describing outrage-signaling activism to be more desirable for long-term mating (Study 1), and this perception of desirability was similarly inferred among same-sex raters (Study 2). We further replicated findings in Study 1, while additionally considering the basis of women's attraction toward outraged behavior through candidate mediators (Studies 3). Although we found consistent evidence for the desirability of an ostensibly outraged target, Study 4 finally identified a boundary condition on the desirability of outrage, wherein mere expression of outrage (without activism) was insufficient to bolster attraction. We frame results from complementary perspectives of trust signaling and sexual strategies theory.
Article
Full-text available
Many detractors of evolutionary psychology (EP) presume that adaptive arguments are nothing more than whimsical and unfalsifiable just-so stories. The reality though is that the epistemology of EP is precisely the opposite of this antiquated canard in that it fixes the evidentiary threshold much higher than is typically achieved by most scientists. EP amasses evidence across cultures, time periods, disciplines, paradigms, methodologies, and units of analyses in validating a given scientific explanation. These nomological networks of cumulative evidence stimulate greater interdisciplinarity, lesser methodological myopia, and increased consilience (unity of knowledge). A component in building such nomological networks is to examine phenomena that are cross-culturally invariant (human universals) versus those that vary cross-culturally as adaptive responses (the domain of behavioral ecologists and gene-culture coevolution modelers). The epistemological efficacy of this unique approach is highlighted using two cases studies, the sex-specificity of toy preferences and men's preference for the hourglass figure.
Article
Full-text available
The standardization/adaptation debate in cross-cultural advertising is a topic on which little consensus prevails and which remains heavily discussed. Using evolutionary psychology, this paper presents a typology of advertising cues and explains their cross-cultural relevance and transportability. The paper highlights three distinct categories – human universals (evolved similarities), local adaptations (evolved differences), and local socialization (differences not due to evolution). The paper contributes to advertising theory by providing a meta-framework for the study of cross-cultural similarities and differences in the processing of advertising cues. It further assists advertising practice by delivering a framework aiding in cross-cultural advertising copy decisions. By raising the questions that the paper poses to develop the proposed typology categories, advertisers can identify which advertising cues are malleable by advertising and which are based on innate human preferences and are relatively stable. With that knowledge in hand, advertisers can decide when and to what extent to use a standardization approach versus an adaptation approach.
Article
While hundreds of studies have investigated the indices that make up attractive body shapes, these studies were based on preferences measured in the laboratory using pictorial stimuli. Whether these preferences translate into real-time, face-to-face evaluations of potential partners is unclear. Here, 539 (275 female) participants in 75 laboratory-based sessions had their body dimensions measured before engaging in round-robin speed dates. After each date, they rated each other’s body, face, personality, and overall attractiveness and noted whether they would go on a date with the partner. Women with smaller waists and lower waist-to-hip ratios were found most attractive, and men with broader shoulders and higher shoulder-to-waist (or hips) ratios were found most attractive. Taller individuals were preferred by both sexes. Our results show that body dimensions associated with greater health, reproductive value (in women), and formidability (in men) influence face-to-face evaluations of attractiveness, consistent with a role of intersexual selection in shaping human bodies.
Book
Full-text available
Cambridge Core - Evolutionary Biology - The Ape that Understood the Universe - by Steve Stewart-Williams
Chapter
The standardization/adaptation debate in international advertising is a topic on which little consensus prevails and which remains heavily discussed. By relying on evolutionary psychology, I develop a typology of advertising cues and explain their cross-cultural transportability. I highlight three distinct categories – human universals (evolved similarities), local adaptations (evolved differences), and local socialization (differences not due to evolution). The paper contributes to advertising theory by providing a meta-framework for the study of cross-cultural similarities and differences in the processing of advertising cues. It further assists advertising practice by delivering a framework aiding in cross-cultural advertising copy decisions.
Article
Full-text available
Bu çalışmada; İzmir’de farklı semtlerde konumlanmış alışveriş merkezlerinde çalışan satış görevlilerinin çalışma hayatlarının görünür yüzünü oluşturan estetik emek olgusu mercek altına alınmaktadır. Son on senede popüler yaşam alanları hâline gelen— alışveriş, yemek, eğlence, spor, eğitim, hobi ve iş olanakları sunan—alışveriş merkezlerinin çalışanlar üzerindeki etkilerinin ortaya konulması birçok akademik disiplin açısından önem taşımaktadır. Karma araştırma metodolojisinden yararlanılan bu çalışmada, sekiz farklı AVM’de çalışan satış görevlileri ile anketler doldurulmuş ve derinlemesine görüşmeler gerçekleştirilmiştir. Ayrıntılı analizler sonucunda estetik emek olgusunun çalışanların birçoğu tarafından olumsuz olarak algılanmadığı bulgulanmıştır. Estetik emek, işe ilişkin deneyimlenen dezavantajlar arasında son sırada yer almaktadır. Buna karşın; olumsuz olarak görülen estetik emek unsurları, zorunlu kıyafetin fonksiyonel yetersizliği ve çalışana getirdiği ekstra maliyetler ve çalışanın kişisel tarzına yapılan müdahaleler olarak ortaya çıkmaktadır. Estetik denetimin sadece işverenden çalışana doğru değil, çalışanlar arasında da yoğun bir şekilde uygulanan bir pratik olduğu anlaşılmaktadır.
Thesis
Full-text available
In this study, workplace conditions of sales employees who work at different shopping malls across the city Izmir and these employees’ work experience are put under the lens. The main research questions here are ‘How do the workplace conditions in shopping malls look?’ and ‘How do shopping mall employees perceive and experience workplace conditions?’. Finding answers to these questions is meaningful as it would let researchers understand the consequences of working at shopping malls in Turkey that provide many recreational and professional opportunities to their visitors and employees. In the research stage of the study, the researcher utilized mixed methodology. Questionnaires including a scale as a quantitative instrument and semi-structured in-depth interviews as a qualitative instrument have been used. The sampling techniques have been cluster and snowball sampling. The field research has been conducted in 8 shopping malls, and the final questionnaire has been filled out with 389 sales employees at 7 shopping malls. Face-to-face interviews have been conducted with 35 sales employees. The fact that neoliberal economic policies are systematically exploiting employees by means of deunionization, flexibilization, precarity and lawlessness has been supported by the findings of this work in terms of wage, working hours, social security and other employment rights. The research findings show that the most important disadvantage that sales employees experience seems to be flexible work. Physical/ergonomic difficulties, low salary levels and emotional labor are perceived as other critical disadvantages related to work. Especially, emotional labor has been found to be a critical factor that degrades job satisfaction and perception of social status related to occupation. Aesthetic labor—defying expectations—is not perceived by a majority of employees as a negative phenomenon. The satisfaction of the employee appears to be affected by age, sector and income. It has also been found that there is a meaningful difference between female and male employees in terms of income and of opportunities to reach managerial positions, showing strong sexist work practices in shopping malls. Sales employees, in general, seem to be in sync with the consumptional dynamics required by the consumer society.
Article
Full-text available
The authors show that the Jomon clay figurines made by hunter-gatherers use imagery that emphasises a narrow waist and full hips, showing that a female construct was part of the symbolism of these possibly shamanistic objects. In creating these figurines, prehistoric people were no doubt turning a recognition of health and fertility into more cultural icons. Admirers of the female form will be interested to learn that preference for the fuller, curvaceous 'hourglass' shape has probably been the norm over much of human evolution'.
Article
Full-text available
Why are some humans considered more beautiful than others? Theory suggests that sexually reproducing organisms should choose mates displaying characters indicative of high genotypic or phenotypic quality. Attraction to beautiful individuals may therefore be an adaptation for choosing high-quality mates. Culturally invariant standards of beauty in humans have been taken as evidence favouring such an adaptationist explanation of attraction; however, if standards of beauty are instead no more than artefacts of culture, they should vary across cultures. Here we show that male preference for women with a low waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is not culturally universal, as had previously been assumed.
Article
Full-text available
Body mass index (BMI) and body shape as measured by the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) have been reported to be the major cues to women's bodily attractiveness. The relative importance of each of these cues was examined cross-culturally in two distinct countries, Greece and Britain. Fifty Britons, 25 British-Greeks, and 25 participants in Greece were asked to rate a set of images of real women with known BMI and WHR. The results showed that, regardless of the cultural setting, BMI is the primary determinant of women's physical attractiveness, whereas WHR emerged as a significant predictor for the Greek groups but not the British group. This finding is discussed in terms of the different gender roles occupied by Britons and Greeks. The discussion critically evaluates evolutionary psychological and sociocultural explanations of preferences for body weight.
Article
Full-text available
Current theoretical and empirical findings suggest that mate preferences are mainly cued on visual, vocal and chemical cues that reveal health including developmental health. Beautiful and irresistible features have evolved numerous times in plants and animals due to sexual selection, and such preferences and beauty standards provide evidence for the claim that human beauty and obsession with bodily beauty are mirrored in analogous traits and tendencies throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. Human beauty standards reflect our evolutionary distant and recent past and emphasize the role of health assessment in mate choice as reflected by analyses of the attractiveness of visual characters of the face and the body, but also of vocal and olfactory signals. Although beauty standards may vary between cultures and between times, we show in this review that the underlying selection pressures, which shaped the standards, are the same. Moreover we show that it is not the content of the standards that show evidence of convergence – it is the rules or how we construct beauty ideals that have universalities across cultures. These findings have implications for medical, social and biological sciences.
Article
Full-text available
Men and women living in New Zealand and California completed five studies regarding human physique and sexual attractiveness. In Studies 1-3, women rated images of male stimuli and, in Studies 4-5, men rated female stimuli. In Study 1, women in both countries rated mesomorphic (muscular) and average male somatotypes as most attractive, followed by ectomorphic (slim) and endomorphic (heavily built) figures. In Study 2, amount and distribution of masculine trunk hair (chest and abdominal) was altered progressively in a series of front-posed male figures. In both countries, the image lacking any trunk hair was rated as the most attractive, with a steady decline in attractiveness as hirsutism became more pronounced. Study 3 assessed attractiveness of front-posed male figures that varied only in the length of the non-erect penis. Five lengths were presented: The smallest penile size was rated as less attractive than three intermediate sizes. The largest penile size was not the most attractive, but received higher scores than the unaltered and smallest penile size. In Study 4, men rated the attractiveness of back-posed female images varying in waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) (from 0.5 to 1.0). The 0.7 WHR figure was rated more attractive in New Zealand and the 0.6 WHR in California. Study 5 measured the attractiveness of female skin color; men expressed preferences for lighter skinned female figures in New Zealand and California. Results indicate very similar preferences for sexually dimorphic physical traits among men and women of European extraction, living in two culturally and geographically different environments.
Article
Full-text available
Body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) are two widely used anthropometric indices of body shape argued to convey different information about health and fertility. Both indices have also been shown to affect attractiveness ratings of female bodies. However, BMI and WHR are naturally positively correlated, complicating studies designed to identify their relative importance in predicting health and attractiveness outcomes. We show that the correlation between BMI and WHR depends on the assumed model of subcutaneous fat deposition. An additive model, whereby fat is added to the waist and hips at a constant rate, predicts a correlation between BMI and WHR because with increasing fat, the difference between the waist and hips becomes smaller relative to total width. This model is supported by longitudinal and cross-sectional data. We parameterized the function relating WHR to BMI for white UK females of reproductive age, and used this function to statistically decompose body shape into two independent components. We show that judgements of the attractiveness of female bodies are well explained by the component of curvaceousness related to BMI but not by residual curvaceousness. Our findings resolve a long-standing dispute in the attractiveness literature by confirming that although WHR appears to be an important predictor of attractiveness, this is largely explained by the direct effect of total body fat on WHR, thus reinforcing the conclusion that total body fat is the primary determinant of female body shape attractiveness.
Article
Full-text available
The aim was to examine (1) whether health habits are associated with body fat distribution, as measured by the waist/hip girth ratio, and (2) to what extent environmental factors, including anthropometric characteristics, explain the variability in levels of cardiovascular risk factors. The study was a population based cross sectional survey, conducted in the spring of 1987 as a part of an international research project on cardiovascular epidemiology. The survey was conducted in three geographical areas of eastern and south western Finland. 2526 men and 2756 women aged 25-64 years took part in the study, corresponding to a survey participation rate of 82%. In men, waist/hip ratio showed stronger associations with exercise (Pearson's r = -0.24), resting heart rate (r = 0.10), alcohol consumption (r = 0.07), smoking (r = 0.05), and education (r = -0.23) than did body mass index. Jointly, exercise, resting heart rate, alcohol consumption, education, and age explained 18% of variance in male waist/hip ratio, but only 9% of variance in male body mass index. In women, environmental factors were more predictive for body mass index than for waist/hip ratio, with age and education being the strongest determinants. Waist/hip ratio and body mass index were approximately equally strong predictors of cardiovascular risk factor levels. The additional predictive power of waist/hip ratio over and above body mass index was tested in a hierarchical, stepwise regression. In this conservative type of analysis the increase in explained variance uniquely attributable to waist/hip ratio was 2-3% for female and 1-2% for male lipoprotein levels, and less than 0.5% for female and 0-2% for male blood pressure values. The distribution of abdominal obesity in Finland is significantly influenced by health habits and sociodemographic factors in both men and women. This in turn is obviously one reason for the relatively small "independent" effect of body fat distribution on cardiovascular risk factor levels.
Article
Full-text available
Evidence is presented showing that body fat distribution as measured by waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is correlated with youthfulness, reproductive endocrinologic status, and long-term health risk in women. Three studies show that men judge women with low WHR as attractive. Study 1 documents that minor changes in WHRs of Miss America winners and Playboy playmates have occurred over the past 30-60 years. Study 2 shows that college-age men find female figures with low WHR more attractive, healthier, and of greater reproductive value than figures with a higher WHR. In Study 3, 25- to 85-year-old men were found to prefer female figures with lower WHR and assign them higher ratings of attractiveness and reproductive potential. It is suggested that WHR represents an important bodily feature associated with physical attractiveness as well as with health and reproductive potential. A hypothesis is proposed to explain how WHR influences female attractiveness and its role in mate selection.
Article
Full-text available
To study the effect of body fat distribution in women of reproductive age on fecundity. Prospective cohort study of all women who had entered a donor insemination programme. One fertility clinic serving a large part of the midwest of the Netherlands. Of 542 women attending the clinic for artificial insemination for the first time, 500 women were eligible for study. Probability of conception per cycle and number of insemination cycles before pregnancy or stopping treatment. A 0.1 unit increase in waist-hip ratio led to a 30% decrease in probability of conception per cycle (hazard ratio 0.706; 95% confidence interval 0.562 to 0.887) after adjustment for age, fatness, reasons for artificial insemination, cycle length and regularity, smoking, and parity. Increasing age was significantly related to lower fecundity (p < 0.05); very lean and obese women were less likely to conceive (p < 0.10) as were women with subfertile partners (p < 0.10). All other exposure variables were not significantly related to fecundity. Increasing waist-hip ratio is negatively associated with the probability of conception per cycle, before and after adjustment for confounding factors. Body fat distribution in women of reproductive age seems to have more impact on fertility than age or obesity.
Article
Full-text available
To assess if the waist:hip ratio (WHR) is associated with the pregnancy rate (PR) in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer, waist and hip girths, in addition to height, weight, body mass index (BMI), indications for IVF, PR and other related variables, were measured in 220 women undergoing IVF-embryo transfer. Three variables were significantly negatively associated with PR; high age, smoking and WHR >0.80. Women with WHR between 0.70-0.79 had a PR of 29.9% as compared to 15.9% in women with WHR >0.80 [odds ratio 0.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.2-0.9, P = 0.03]. There were no correlations between BMI and PR, nor were there any significant differences for the indications for IVF-embryo transfer, number of oocytes or oocyte fertilization rate, cleavage rate and number of embryos transferred. The association between a low PR and WHR >0.80 remained unchanged after adjustment for age, BMI, smoking, indication for IVF, parity and number of embryos transferred. In IVF-embryo transfer, fertilization is a laboratory and clinically controlled process, until the embryo is transferred to the uterus. Possible reasons for our finding of a decreased PR in women with an android body fat distribution include a different endocrinological and biochemical milieu for the oocyte in the growing follicle, oocytes of poor quality, or endometrial changes due to hormonal dysfunction.
Article
Full-text available
Evolutionary psychology suggests that a woman's sexual attractiveness is based on cues of health and reproductive potential. In recent years, research has focused on the ratio of the width of the waist to the width of the hips (the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). A low WHR (i.e. a curvaceous body) is believed to correspond to the optimal fat distribution for high fertility, and so this shape should be highly attractive. In this paper we present evidence that weight scaled for height (the body mass index (BMI)) is the primary determinant of sexual attractiveness rather than WHR. BMI is also strongly linked to health and reproductive potential. Furthermore, we show how covariation of apparent BMI and WHR in previous studies led to the overestimation of the importance of WHR in the perception of female attractiveness. Finally, we show how visual cues, such as the perimeter-area ratio (PAR), can provide an accurate and reliable index of an individual's BMI and could be used by an observer to differentiate between potential partners.
Article
Full-text available
Preliminary studies suggest that the menopause transition is associated with deleterious changes in body composition and abdominal fat distribution. Limitations of the methodology used in these studies, however, render their conclusions controversial. Thus, the present study used radiologic imaging techniques to examine the effect of menopausal status on body composition and abdominal fat distribution. Cross-sectional. Fifty-three healthy, middle-aged, premenopausal women (mean+/-SD; 47+/-3 y) and 28 early-postmenopausal women (51+/-4 y). Total and regional body composition by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and abdominal fat distribution by computed tomography. No differences in total body fat-free mass or appendicular skeletal muscle mass were noted between groups. In contrast, total body fat mass was 28% higher (23+/-7 vs 18+/-7 kg) and percentage fat 17% higher (35+/-6 vs 30+/-9%; both P<0.01) in postmenopausal women compared with premenopausal women. Postmenopausal women had a 49% greater intra-abdominal (88+/-32 vs 59+/-32 cm2; P<0.01) and a 22% greater abdominal subcutaneous fat area (277+/-93 vs 227+/-108 cm2; P<0.05) compared to premenopausal women. The menopause-related difference in intra-abdominal fat persisted (P<0.05) after statistical adjustment for age and total body fat mass, whereas no difference in abdominal subcutaneous fat was noted. A similar pattern of differences in total and abdominal adiposity was noted in sub-samples of pre- and postmenopausal women matched for age or fat mass. Our data suggest that early-postmenopausal status is associated with a preferential increase in intra-abdominal fat that is independent of age and total body fat mass. International Journal of Obesity (2000) 24, 226-231
Article
Full-text available
Physical characteristics, such as breast size and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), function as important features used by human males to assess female attractiveness. Males supposedly pay attention to these features because they serve as cues to fecundity and health. Here, we document that women with higher breast-to-underbreast ratio (large breasts) and women with relatively low WHR (narrow waists) have higher fecundity as assessed by precise measurements of daily levels of 17-beta-oestradiol (E2) and progesterone. Furthermore, women who are characterized by both narrow waists and large breasts have 26% higher mean E2 and 37% higher mean mid-cycle E2 levels than women from three groups with other combinations of body-shape variables, i.e. low WHR with small breasts and high WHR with either large or small breasts. Such gains in hormone levels among the preferred mates may lead to a substantial rise in the probability of conception, thus providing a significant fitness benefit.
Article
Full-text available
Men and women living in a rural community in Bakossiland, Cameroon were asked to rate the attractiveness of images of male or female figures manipulated to vary in somatotype, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), secondary sexual traits, and other features. In Study 1, women rated mesomorphic (muscular) and average male somatotypes as most attractive, followed by ectomorphic (slim) and endomorphic (heavily built) figures. In Study 2, amount and distribution of masculine trunk (chest and abdominal) hair was altered progressively in a series of front-posed male figures. A significant preference for one of these images was found, but the most hirsute figure was not judged as most attractive. Study 3 assessed attractiveness of front-posed male figures which varied only in length of the non-erect penis. Extremes of penile size (smallest and largest of five images) were rated as significantly less attractive than three intermediate sizes. In Study 4, Bakossi men rated the attractiveness of back-posed female images varying in WHR (from 0.5-1.0). The 0.8 WHR figure was rated markedly more attractive than others. Study 5 rated the attractiveness of female skin color. Men expressed no consistent preference for either lighter or darker female figures. These results are the first of their kind reported for a Central African community and provide a useful cross-cultural perspective to published accounts on sexual selection, human morphology and attractiveness in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere.
Article
Full-text available
A sample of 213 healthy Czech women was classified into four groups according to their reproductive phase: fully reproductive, premenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal women. Changes in body weight, body composition and fat distribution were studied in those four groups using the classical anthropometric method. Body weight rises till the menopause with no further increase. A decrease in relative contribution of muscle and bone mass was observed. The progressive increase in fat mass with age was clearly demonstrated, both the fat mass weight (r = 0.38, p < 0.001) and its percentage contribution (Matiegka r = 0.40, p < 0.001, Parízkovi r = 0.42, p < 0.001). There is a stronger correlation of central fat indices as WHR (r = 0.57, p < 0.001), abdominal (r=0.56, p < 0.001) and waist circumference (r = 0.50, p < 0.001) than for hip circumference (r = 0.27, p < 0.001) to the age. WHR and waist increase most when fully reproductive and premenopausal women were compared (p < 0.001); less when premenopausal to menopausal women are compared (NS) and the least when menopausal to postmenopausal women were compared (NS). The mean values of 14 skinfolds thickness are shown, the skinfold at the abdomen shows the strongest correlation to the age (r = 0.49, p < 0.001). The results are consistent with the hypothesis of progressive fat centralisation.
Article
Evidence is presented showing that body fat distribution as measured by waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is correlated with youthfulness, reproductive endocrinologic status, and long-term health risk in women. Three studies show that men judge women with low WHR as attractive. Study 1 documents that minor changes in WHRs of Miss America winners and Playboy playmates have occurred over the past 30-60 years. Study 2 shows that college-age men find female figures with low WHR more attractive, healthier, and of greater reproductive value than figures with a higher WHR. In Study 3, 25- to 85-year-old men were found to prefer female figures with lower WHR and assign them higher ratings of attractiveness and reproductive potential. It is suggested that WHR represents an important bodily feature associated with physical attractiveness as well as with health and reproductive potential. A hypothesis is proposed to explain how WHR influences female attractiveness and its role in mate selection.
Article
The western consensus is that obese women are considered attractive by Afro-Americans and by many societies from nonwestern developing countries. This belief rests mainly on results of nonstandardized surveys dealing only with body weight and size, ignoring body fat distribution. The anatomical distribution of female body fat as measured by the ratio of waist to hip circumference (WHR) is related to reproductive age, fertility, and risk for various major diseases and thus might play a role in judgment of attractiveness. Previous research (Singh 1993a, 1993b) has shown that in the United States Caucasian men and women judge female figures with feminine WHRs as attractive and healthy. To investigate whether young Indonesian and Afro-American men and women rate such figures similarly, female figures representing three body sizes (underweight, normal weight, and overweight) and four WHRs (two feminine and two masculine) were used. Results show that neither Indonesian nor Afro-American subjects judge overweight figures as attractive and healthy regardless of the size of WHR. They judged normal weight figures with feminine WHRs as most attractive, healthy, and youthful. The consensus on women's attractiveness among Indonesian, Afro-American, and U.S. Caucasian male and female subjects suggests that various cultural groups have similar criteria for judging the ideal woman's shape.
Article
The proposition that universal standards of female beauty reflect adaptations for reproductive value assessment does not preclude cross-cultural variation that is contingent on local environmental variation. Cross-cultural tests of the hypothesis that men have adaptations generating preference for low female waist-to-hip ratios (WHR) have used stimuli that were not scaled to local conditions, and have confounded WHR with level of body fat. I present a reassessment of the WHR hypothesis, showing that when effects of WHR and body weight are less confounded, and local environmental context is taken into account, it appears that Shiwiar forager–horticulturist men of Ecuadorian Amazonia may use both WHR and body weight in assessments of female sexual attractiveness in a manner consistent with the prediction of a context-sensitive preference psychology.
Article
Female waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) has been proposed by evolutionary psychologists to be an important component of human male mate choice, because this trait is thought to provide a reliable cue to a woman's reproductive value. Based largely on work conducted in industrialized societies, the claim has been made that preferences for low WHR are culturally invariant. Presumably, the preferences evolved before the advent of agriculture, making foraging populations the best place to test the hypothesis. This was done with the Hadza of Tanzania, who were shown figures of females that varied by weight and waist-to-hip ratio. Low WHR was not preferred. Hadza men did not consider waist-to-hip ratio when expressing preferences for mates. Instead, they were most interested in the weight of potential partners. Research by others with subjects who practice swidden agriculture also revealed that low WHR was not preferred. The data from the Hadza coupled with the information derived from this horticultural group bring into question whether preferences for low WHR are culturally invariant.
Article
The proposition that universal standards of female beauty reflect adaptations for reproductive value assessment does not preclude cross-cultural variation that is contingent on local environmental variation. Cross-cultural tests of the hypothesis that men have adaptations generating preference for low female waist-to-hip ratios (WHR) have used stimuli that were not scaled to local conditions, and have confounded WHR with level of body fat. I present a reassessment of the WHR hypothesis, showing that when effects of WHR and body weight are less confounded, and local environmental context is taken into account, it appears that Shiwiar forager–horticulturist men of Ecuadorian Amazonia may use both WHR and body weight in assessments of female sexual attractiveness in a manner consistent with the prediction of a context-sensitive preference psychology.
Article
This . . . book is the first to present a unified theory of human mating behavior. [It] is based on the most massive study of human mating ever undertaken, encompassing more than 10,000 people of all ages from thirty-seven cultures worldwide. If we all want love, why is there so much conflict in our most cherished relationships? To answer this question, we must look into our evolutionary past, according to David M. Buss. The book discusses casual sex and long-term relationships, sexual conflict, the elusive quest for harmony between the sexes, and much more. Buss's research leads to a radical shift from the standard view of men's and women's sexual psychology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Upper-body fat has negative effects and lower-body fat has positive effects on the supply of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for neurodevelopment. Thus, waist-hip ratio (WHR), a useful proxy for the ratio of upper-body fat to lower-body fat, should predict cognitive ability in women and their offspring. Moreover, because teenage mothers and their children compete for these resources, their cognitive development should be compromised, but less so for mothers with lower WHRs. These predictions are supported by data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Controlling for other correlates of cognitive ability, women with lower WHRs and their children have significantly higher cognitive test scores, and teenage mothers with lower WHRs and their children are protected from cognitive decrements associated with teen births. These findings support the idea that WHR reflects the availability of neurodevelopmental resources and thus offer a new explanation for men's preference for low WHR.
Article
Women's waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) varies with age, and a lower WHR is associated with a higher estrogen-to-androgen ratio and possibly higher fecundity, at least in some populations. Consequently, it has been argued that selection has favored a universal male preference for a low female WHR. In previous studies using frontal pictures, men in the United States preferred a low WHR of 0.7, but men among Hadza hunter–gatherers and a few other small-scale societies preferred higher ratios. Unlike the actual WHR of women, measured with a tape around the waist and the hips and buttocks, the WHR in frontal pictures excludes the buttocks. Because frontal WHR gives only a partial picture, we used profile views of women to measure men's preferences for the profile WHR. Hadza men preferred a lower profile WHR (more protruding buttocks) than American men. Since Hadza men preferred higher frontal WHR but lower profile WHR, and since both contribute to the actual WHR, these results imply there is less disparity between American and Hadza preferences for the actual WHR of real women. We suggest men's preferences vary with the geographic variation in the shape of women who have wider hips in some populations and more protruding buttocks in others.
Article
Current theoretical and empirical findings suggest that mate preferences are mainly cued on visual, vocal and chemical cues that reveal health including developmental health. Beautiful and irresistible features have evolved numerous times in plants and animals due to sexual selection, and such preferences and beauty standards provide evidence for the claim that human beauty and obsession with bodily beauty are mirrored in analogous traits and tendencies throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. Human beauty standards reflect our evolutionary distant and recent past and emphasize the role of health assessment in mate choice as reflected by analyses of the attractiveness of visual characters of the face and the body, but also of vocal and olfactory signals. Although beauty standards may vary between cultures and between times, we show in this review that the underlying selection pressures, which shaped the standards, are the same. Moreover we show that it is not the content of the standards that show evidence of convergence - it is the rules or how we construct beauty ideals that have universalities across cultures. These findings have implications for medical, social and biological sciences.
Article
The purpose of this study was to cross-culturally test Singh's (1993) hypothesis of the effect of weight and waist-to-hip ratio on judgements of female attractiveness, using stimulus figures developed by Tassinary and Hansen (1998). A total of 308 subjects, half male, half female, were recruited from Greece, Uganda and the United Kingdom. Their task was to rate eight line drawings varying in weight (light and heavy) and waist-to-hip ratio WHR (0.5, 0.7 with small waist and hip size, 0.7 with large waist and hip size, and 0.9). The stimulus figures were rated on attractiveness, healthiness, fertility, youthfulness, and willingness to engage in short-term and long-term relationships, on a seven-point Likert scale. The results showed an overall preference for the 0.7 WHR and the light weight category, as predicted. However, cross-cultural differences showed Ugandans had a preference for the 0.5 WHR and the heavy weight category. The prediction that small waist and hip size would be preferred over large waist and hip size was also confirmed. In accordance with predictions, attractiveness was found to be significantly correlated with all the attributes tested.
Article
There are a large number of empirical studies supporting the evolutionary psychological prediction that the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is an important attribute of female attractiveness. In contrast to previous research, which is almost exclusively based on line drawings, the present study used color photographs as stimuli. For each of six attractive females there were the original photographs and two digitally manipulated pictures, one depicting a lower and one depicting a higher WHR. In a between subjects design the pictures were rated by 180 males and 180 females. The ratings were done on 108 scales covering a broad range of personality factors. A factor analysis of these scales yielded seven factors. Only one of these factors was significantly affected by the WHR manipulation, namely Attractiveness. In accordance with evolutionary psychological expectations, a lower ratio was more attractive than a higher one. In addition to the empirical findings, some methodological issues are discussed. It is argued that, compared with face research, research on the human figure is in a poor state.
Article
Evidence from Singh (1993a, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 293–307; 1993b, Human Nature, 4, 297–321; 1994, Personality and Individual Differences, 16, 123–132; 1995, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 1089–1101) clearly demonstrates the relation of waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and apparent overall body weight to attractiveness judgements of male and female figures. The present study is a cross-cultural replication of Singh's studies. In addition, sex difference meta-perceptions of attractiveness were considered. Overall results support Singh's work, which finds the WHR the most parsimonious measure of body physical attractiveness. With regard to the latter, a large consensus on preferences of ideal figures was found. Participants' perceptions of body shape and size showed both similarities and differences to those in Singh's research, and are discussed in terms of WHR as an evolutionary adaptation.
Article
Attractiveness conveys reliable information about a woman’s age, health, and fertility. Body fat distribution, as measured by waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), is a reliable cue to a woman’s age, health, and fertility, and affects judgment of women’s attractiveness. WHR is positively correlated with overall body weight or body mass index (BMI). Some researchers have argued that BMI, rather than WHR, affects judgments of female attractiveness. To evaluate the role of WHR, independent of BMI, we secured photographs of pre- and post-operative women who have undergone micro-fat grafting surgery. In this surgery, surgeons harvest fat tissue from the waist region and implant it on the buttocks. Post-operatively, all women have a lower WHR but some gain weight whereas others lose body weight. Results indicate that participants judge post-operative photographs as more attractive than pre-operative photographs, independent of post-operative changes in body weight or BMI. These results indicate that WHR is a key feature of women’s attractiveness.
Book
Patterns in the data on human sexuality support the hypothesis that the bases of sexual emotions are products of natural selection. Most generally, the universal existence of laws, rules, and gossip about sex, the pervasive interest in other people's sex lives, the widespread seeking of privacy for sexual intercourse, and the secrecy that normally permeates sexual conduct imply a history of reproductive competition. More specifically, the typical differences between men and women in sexual feelings can be explained most parsimoniously as resulting from the extraordinarily different reproductive opportunities and constraints males and females normally encountered during the course of evolutionary history. Men are more likely than women to desire multiple mates; to desire a variety of sexual partners; to experience sexual jealousy of a spouse irrespective of specific circumstances; to be sexually aroused by the sight of a member of the other sex; to experience an autonomous desire for sexual intercourse; and to evaluate sexual desirability primarily on the bases of physical appearance and youth. The evolutionary causes of human sexuality have been obscured by attempts to find harmony in natural creative processes and human social life and to view sex differences as complementary. The human female's capacity for orgasm and the loss of estrus, for example, have been persistently interpreted as marriage-maintaining adaptations. Available evidence is more consistent with the view that few sex differences in sexuality are complementary, that many aspects of sexuality undermine marriage, and that sexuality is less a unifying than a divisive force in human affairs.
Article
Morbid obesity has been previously shown to be associated with excessive production and metabolism of a variety of androgens and estrogens. Further, SHBG is lowered, resulting in high levels of 'free' testosterone. We have re-examined these parameters in morbidly obese women with upper vs lower body adipose distribution. Upper body obesity was associated with greater increases in production and clearance of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone compared to lower body obesity. Further, SHBG levels were lower resulting in high serum levels of free T and free E2 in this obesity phenotype. By contrast, lower body obesity was associated with increased peripheral aromatization of androstenedione resulting in higher urinary E1 production rates. The biologic significance of these hormonal differences in obesity phenotypes as well as the potential role of the androgen-estrogen environment in determining body fat distribution is considered.
Article
Data from a cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study of women was undertaken to determine factors associated with the anatomic distribution of body fat. The women studied were members of TOPS, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), a non-profit organization dedicated to weight reduction. Recent evidence suggests that anatomic location of body fat has prognostic significance for some chronic conditions. The simple ratio of waist girth to hip girth can be used to estimate the location of body fat. Using this ratio as an index we found that increased age and higher body weight were significantly associated with greater fat deposition in the waist areas as compared to the hip areas. The effects of age and current obesity level were independent and could not be accounted for on the basis of parity, menopausal status, or obesity history. Furthermore, though obesity history and parity were significantly associated with the waist-hip ratio, they were relatively unimportant, together explaining less than one percent of the observed variation in the ratio. No association could be found between body fat distribution and menopausal status. Our findings do not support previous work which suggested that menopausal status and obesity history were important determinants of body fat location.
Article
To determine whether an inter-relationship exists between endocervical mucus pH, serum androgen levels, and waist to hip (W:H) ratio. Donor insemination clinic, University of Sheffield, Jessop Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom. One hundred patients receiving donor insemination. Waist, hip, height, and weight measurements were recorded for 100 patients receiving donor insemination. At the onset of the LH surge when patients attended for their first insemination, a sample of endocervical mucus and blood was taken. The Insler score of the mucus was recorded and the pH was measured with multirange pH paper. Of the 100 patients studied, 10 cases had an endocervical mucus pH < 6 despite Insler scores of > 10. Serum T, DHEAS, and androstenedione levels were measured in the 10 patients with pH < 6 and in 26 patients selected at random from the 90 patients with pH > or = 6. The W:H ratio was significantly higher in the patients with pH < 6 than pH > or = 6. No significant difference was seen in body mass index between the latter groups. All serum androgen levels were significantly higher in the patients with pH < 6 than pH > or = 7. A potential link (serum androgen levels) between a powerful predictive factor of fertility (W:H ratio) and a potential mechanism of subfertility (low endocervical mucus pH) has been demonstrated. This observation warrants further detailed evaluation particularly as it has been shown that a low endocervical mucus pH may be corrected by simple inexpensive treatment.
Article
Obesity and an increasing prevalence of associated conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease are frequently observed in Pacific populations as lifestyles become more modernized. In 1978, a survey conducted in three geographically defined populations in Western Samoa showed large differences in the prevalence of obesity (body mass index (BMI) > or = 30 kg/m2) between rural and urban populations. A follow-up survey using similar methods was performed in 1991 to examine the current level of obesity in these three locations and to assess changes over time. Cross-sectional differences in the prevalence of obesity, mean BMI and waist-hip circumference ratio (WHR) between urban Apia and rural Poutasi and Tuasivi were examined after adjusting for age. There were higher levels of obesity in urban vs rural areas: 74% of women in Apia were obese compared with 62% in Poutasi and 56% in Tuasivi. In men, comparable figures were 57%, 44% and 36% for Apia, Poutasi and Tuasivi respectively. Mean BMIs followed the same pattern. By contrast, WHR varied little between locations. Even in subjects aged 25-34 years, more than 50% of women in all locations, and 45% of urban men were obese. Increasing physical activity in men, but not women, was associated with lower mean BMI. Increasing education level and job status were associated with increasing BMI but these relationships were significant only in men. Multivariate analysis showed age, location (urban), occupation (high status, women), and in men, physical inactivity, to be independently associated with increased risk of obesity. Prevalence of obesity increased dramatically between 1978 and 1991 in all locations, but especially in Tuasivi, where in males the increase was 297% and in females 115%. There was a rightward shift in the distribution of body mass index in both sexes and all locations. These extreme increases in the prevalence of obesity, even in young adults, over the relatively short 13-year study period suggest an increasing burden of chronic diseases facing Western Samoa in the future, and emphasize the need for effective intervention to bring about lifestyle modification.
Article
To investigate the relationship between reproductive history and body composition. Prospective population study in Sweden. 1462 randomly selected women representing five separate age cohorts (38, 46, 50, 54 and 60 at the 1968-1969 baseline examination) have been followed longitudinally. Relative weight, fat distribution, and fat cellularity were related to menarche, parity, lactation, menopause and oestrogen medication. Age of menarche did not show any association with subsequent fat distribution, nor did length of lactation time. On the other hand parity was positively associated to total as well as central obesity, and lactation time was positively associated to abdominal fat cell diameter. Premenopausal women showed higher mean body weight and hip circumference than postmenopausal women of the same age. Change from pre- to postmenopausal status was associated with increase of waist circumference as well as reduction of hip circumference, resulting in an increased waist-hip ratio (WHR). Oestrogen replacement suggested some postponement of this increase. Parity and menopause are the reproductive factors most associated with gradual changes in body fat distribution. Oestrogen medication seems to play an additional role in diminishing waist circumference increase and could thus contribute to decreased cardiovascular morbidity in women.
Article
The menopause transition increases cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk, partly because of the adverse effects of estrogen deficiency on the plasma lipid-lipoprotein profile and cardiovascular function. This increased cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk may also be partially mediated by increased body fat, increased intra-abdominal adipose tissue accumulation, or both. The objective of this mini-review is to summarize studies that have investigated the relationships among the menopause transition, body fatness, and body fat distribution. A review of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies on menopause that examined body fatness and body fat distribution. Cross-sectional reports show that the menopause transition is related to modest increases in body mass index or total fatness, although not all studies found significant effects. Increased central adiposity appears to be related to menopause, independent of advancing age, but these results are methodology dependent. An independent effect of menopause on central body fatness was noted by the use of techniques such as DEXA or computed tomography, whereas studies using circumference measures showed discrepant results. Longitudinal studies showed that the menopause transition accelerated the increase in central adiposity, although no studies quantified changes in intra-abdominal fat by imaging techniques. Thus, additional longitudinal studies using more accurate measures of adiposity are needed to critically examine the effects of the menopause transition on total and central body fatness. Collectively, previous studies suggest that menopause is related to modest increase in total fatness and accelerated accumulation of central body fat that exceeds changes normally attributed to the aging process. These changes may increase the risk for cardiovascular and metabolic disease in aging women.
Article
Evolutionary psychology suggests that a woman's sexual attractiveness might be based on cues of reproductive potential. It has been proposed that a major determinant of physical attractiveness is the ratio between her waist and hip measurements (the waist-to-hip ratio, or WHR): for example, a woman with a curvaceous body and a WHR of 0.7 is considered to be optimally attractive1, 2, 3, presumably because this WHR is the result of a fat distribution that maximizes reproductive potential4. It follows that the preference for a curvaceous body shape in women should be universal among men and not be culturally based, because natural selection presumably favours cues indicative of the most fertile body shape.
Article
A fundamental assumption of adaptive explanations of female attractiveness is that bodily features that males judge as attractive reliably signal youthfulness, healthiness, and fertility or female mate value. One of the bodily features, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), is a reliable indicator of a female's reproductive age, sex hormone profile, parity and risk for various diseases. Systematic variation in the size of WHR also systematically affects the judgment of female attractiveness, healthiness, and youthfulness. This article summarizes recent findings about the relationship between female's WHR and various factors affecting reproductive capability and risk for diseases. Research on the relationship between attractiveness and WHR is discussed in light of some methodological objections to previous research. Finally, cross-cultural and historical data are presented that suggest that the relationship between WHR and female attractiveness is not culture-specific and not inculcated by modern Western fashion dictates or media.
Article
The female physical attractiveness stereotype has been reported to contain both desirable (sociable, poised, interesting) and undesirable (snobbish, likely to request divorce and have extra-marital affairs) personal qualities. To investigate whether such an attractiveness stereotype is cross-cultural, I asked men and women from Azore Island, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, and the U.S. to judge the attractiveness of female figures differing in body weight and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and to rank these figures according to perceived personal attributes. There was a strong cross-cultural consensus for attractiveness; figures with low WHR were judged to be more attractive than figures with high WHR within each weight category. Participants also judged attractive figures as less faithful than less-attractive figures. To explore the basis of a possible 'darker side ' of the attractiveness stereotype, behavior tactics of young U.S. women were examined. Compared to women with high WHRs, low-WHR women reported engaging in more flirting to make dates jealous, suggesting some truth to the attractiveness stereotype. Taken together, these findings suggest that female attractiveness influences the type of mating strategies employed by women.
Article
So what explains the universal and enduring appeal of the hourglass figure? One explanation based on evolutionary psychological theory is that female beauty as represented by the hourglass figure taps into important biological information about various factors regulating women's reproductive potential and fertility. This article briefly describes basics tenets of evolutionary psychology pertaining to the nature and significance of female attractiveness. The article also summarizes experimental and clinical evidence demonstrating a link between the hourglass figure and hormonal and endocrinological mechanisms regulating reproductive potential, fertility, and risk for major diseases. Such evidence is crucial to support the claim that attractiveness of the female figure is a reliable cue to a female's reproductive capability and good health. Also presented in this article is evidence that changes in the hourglass figure alone systematically affect female attractiveness judgments of lay and professional men and women not only in our society but in various and diverse societies. Finally, evidence is presented showing that equating beauty with the hourglass figure is not a novel or recent phenomenon shaped by the mass media; allure of the hourglass figure is evident across generations in ancient cultures.