Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 737–745

Determinants and Consequences of Female Attractiveness and Sexiness: Realistic Tests with Restaurant Waitresses

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10508-008-9379-0

Cite this article as:
Lynn, M. Arch Sex Behav (2009) 38: 737. doi:10.1007/s10508-008-9379-0


Waitresses completed an on-line survey about their physical characteristics, self-perceived attractiveness and sexiness, and average tips. The waitresses’ self-rated physical attractiveness increased with their breast sizes and decreased with their ages, waist-to-hip ratios, and body sizes. Similar effects were observed on self-rated sexiness, with the exception of age, which varied with self-rated sexiness in a negative, quadratic relationship rather than a linear one. Moreover, the waitresses’ tips varied with age in a negative, quadratic relationship, increased with breast size, increased with having blond hair, and decreased with body size. These findings, which are discussed from an evolutionary perspective, make several contributions to the literature on female physical attractiveness. First, they replicate some previous findings regarding the determinants of female physical attractiveness using a larger, more diverse, and more ecologically valid set of stimuli than has been studied before. Second, they provide needed evidence that some of those determinants of female beauty affect interpersonal behaviors as well as attractiveness ratings. Finally, they indicate that some determinants of female physical attractiveness do not have the same effects on overt interpersonal behavior (such as tipping) that they have on attractiveness ratings. This latter contribution highlights the need for more ecologically valid tests of evolutionary theories about the determinants and consequences of female beauty.


Attractiveness Sexiness Tipping Evolutionary theory 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Hotel AdministrationCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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