Human Nature

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 355–370

Watching the Hourglass

Eye Tracking Reveals Men’s Appreciation of the Female Form
  • Barnaby J. Dixson
  • Gina M. Grimshaw
  • Wayne L. Linklater
  • Alan F. Dixson
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12110-010-9100-6

Cite this article as:
Dixson, B.J., Grimshaw, G.M., Linklater, W.L. et al. Hum Nat (2010) 21: 355. doi:10.1007/s12110-010-9100-6

Abstract

Eye-tracking techniques were used to measure men’s attention to back-posed and front-posed images of women varying in waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). Irrespective of body pose, men rated images with a 0.7 WHR as most attractive. For back-posed images, initial visual fixations (occurring within 200 milliseconds of commencement of the eye-tracking session) most frequently involved the midriff. Numbers of fixations and dwell times throughout each of the five-second viewing sessions were greatest for the midriff and buttocks. By contrast, visual attention to front-posed images (first fixations, numbers of fixations, and dwell times) mainly involved the breasts, with attention shifting more to the midriff of images with a higher WHR. This report is the first to compare men’s eye-tracking responses to back-posed and front-posed images of the female body. Results show the importance of the female midriff and of WHR upon men’s attractiveness judgments, especially when viewing back-posed images.

Keywords

AttractivenessWaist-to-hip ratioEye trackingButtocksBreastsSexual selection

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barnaby J. Dixson
    • 1
  • Gina M. Grimshaw
    • 2
  • Wayne L. Linklater
    • 1
  • Alan F. Dixson
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of PsychologyVictoria UniversityWellingtonNew Zealand