, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 209-224

Male sexual strategies modify ratings of female models with specific waist-to-hip ratios

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Female waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) has generally been an important general predictor of ratings of physical attractiveness and related characteristics. Individual differences in ratings do exist, however, and may be related to differences in the reproductive tactics of the male raters such as pursuit of short-term or long-term relationships and adjustments based on perceptions of one’s own quality as a mate. Forty males, categorized according to sociosexual orientation and physical qualities (WHR, Body Mass Index, and self-rated desirability), rated female models on both attractiveness and likelihood they would approach them. Sociosexually restricted males were less likely to approach females rated as most attractive (with 0.68–0.72 WHR), as compared with unrestricted males. Males with lower scores in terms of physical qualities gave ratings indicating more favorable evaluations of female models with lower WHR. The results indicate that attractiveness and willingness to approach are overlapping but distinguishable constructs, both of which are influenced by variations in characteristics of the raters.

Gary L. Brase is currently a Resident Instruction Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Columbia — Missouri. His research covers adaptive reasoning and decision making within statistical and social domains
Gary Walker completed a Bs degree in psychology at the University of Sunderland in 2002 and is currently pursuing a graduate degree.