Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 1431–1437

Preferred Female Body Proportions Among Child-Free Men

Original Paper

Abstract

Based on conceptual extrapolations from sociobiological models concerning the significance of secondary sex characteristics as markers of a female’s capacity to produce and nurture offspring, we reasoned that men’s greater unwillingness to reproduce would be linked to preference for a female body type characterized by the relative absence of such markers. Heterosexual undergraduate men (N = 67) indicated their ideal (most arousing) female body type on-line by means of an adjustable female figure. As expected, the desire to remain childfree was linked to erotic preference for a combination of smaller breasts and larger waist-to-hip ratio. Additional research into individual factors that map onto variations in the preferred body proportions of erotic targets is thus encouraged.

Keywords

Childfree Breast size Waist-to-hip ratio 

References

  1. Azziz, R., Sanchez, L. A., Knochenhauer, E. S., Moran, C., Lazenby, J., Stephens, K. C., . . . Boots, L. R. (2004). Androgen excess in women: Experience with over 1000 patients. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 89, 453–462. doi:10.1210/jc.2003-031122 Google Scholar
  2. Benson, P. J., Emery, J. L., Cohen-Tovée, E. M., & Tovée, M. J. (1999). A computer-graphic technique for the study of body size perception and body types. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 31, 446–454. doi:10.3758/BF03200725.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brase, G. L., & Walker, G. (2004). Male sexual strategies modify ratings of female models with specific waist-to-hip ratios. Human Nature, 15, 209–224. doi:10.1007/s12110-004-1020-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dixson, B. J., Vasey, P. L., Sagato, K., Sibanda, N., Linklater, W. L., & Dixson, A. F. (2011). Male preferences for female breast morphology in New Zealand, Samoa, and Papua New Guinea. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 1271–1279. doi:10.1007/s10508-010-9680-6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Donohoe, M. L., von Hippel, W., & Brooks, R. C. (2009). Beyond waist-hip ratio: Experimental multivariate evidence that average women’s torsos are most attractive. Behavioral Ecology, 20, 716–721. doi:10.1093/beheco/arp051.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Furnham, A., Swami, V., & Shah, K. (2006). Body weight, waist-to-hip ratio and breast size correlates of ratings of attractiveness and health. Personality and Individual Differences, 41, 443–454. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2006.02.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gangestead, S. W., & Scheyd, G. J. (2005). The evolution of human physical attractiveness. Annual Review of Anthropology, 34, 523–548. doi:10.1146/annurev.anthro.33.070203.143733.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Henss, R. (2000). Waist-to-hip ratio and female attractiveness: Evidence from photographic stimuli and methodological considerations. Personality and Individual Differences, 28, 501–513. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(99)00115-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jasienska, G., Ziomkiewicz, A., Ellison, P. T., Lipson, S. F., & Thune, I. (2004). Large breasts and narrow waists indicate high reproductive potential in women. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: B, 271, 1213–1217. doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.2712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Langdridge, D., Sheeran, P., & Connolly, K. J. (2005). Understanding the reasons for parenthood. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 23, 121–133. doi:10.1080/02646830500129438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lassek, W. D., & Gaulin, S. J. C. (2008). Waist-hip ratio and cognitive ability: Is gluteofemoral fat a privileged store of neurodevelopmental resources? Evolution and Human Behavior, 29, 26–34. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2007.07.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lunneborg, P. W. (1999). The chosen lives of childfree men. Westport, CT: Bergin and Garvey.Google Scholar
  13. Marlowe, F., & Wetsman, A. (2001). Preferred waist-to-hip ratio and ecology. Personality and Individual Differences, 30, 481–489. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(00)00039-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Møller, A. P., Soler, M., & Thornhill, R. (1995). Breast asymmetry, sexual selection, and human reproductive success. Ethology and Sociobiology, 16, 207–219. doi:10.1016/0162-3095(95)00002-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Parker, G., Tupling, H., & Brown, L. B. (1979). A parental bonding instrument. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 52, 1–10. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8341.1979.tb02487.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Penke, L., & Asendorpf, J. B. (2008). Beyond global sociosexual orientations: A more differentiated look at sociosexuality and its effects on courtship and romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1113–1135. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.95.5.1113.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Perilloux, H. K., Webster, G. D., & Gaulin, S. J. C. (2010). Signals of genetic quality and maternal investment capacity: The dynamic effects of fluctuating asymmetry and waist-to-hip ratio on men’s ratings of women’s attractiveness. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1, 32–42. doi:10.1177/1948550609349514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pettijohn, T. F., & Jungeberg, B. J. (2004). Playboy Playmate curves: Changes in facial and body feature preferences across social and economic conditions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 1186–1197. doi:10.1177/0146167204264078.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ramsey, S., Sweeney, C., Fraser, M., & Oades, G. (2009). Pubic hair and sexuality: A review. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6, 2102–2110. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01307.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Schick, V. R., Rima, B. N., & Calabrese, S. K. (2011). Evulvalution: The portrayal of women’s external genitalia and physique across time and the current Barbie doll ideals. Journal of Sex Research, 48, 74–81. doi:10.1080/00224490903308404.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Singh, D. (1993). Adaptive significance of female physical attractiveness: Role of waist-to-hip ratio. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 292–307. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.65.2.293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Singh, D., & Singh, D. (2011). Shape and significance of feminine beauty: An evolutionary perspective. Sex Roles, 64, 723–731. doi:10.1007/s11199-011-9938-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Singh, D., & Young, R. K. (1995). Body weight, waist-to-hip ratio, breasts, and hips: Role in judgments of female attractiveness and desirability for relationships. Ethology and Sociobiology, 16, 483–507. doi:10.1016/0162-3095(95)00074-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sugiyama, L. S. (2005). Physical attractiveness in adaptationist perspective. In D. M. Buss (Ed.), The handbook of evolutionary psychology (pp. 292–343). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  25. Swami, V., Miller, R., Furnham, A., Penke, L., & Tovée, M. J. (2008). The influence of men’s sexual strategies on perceptions of women’s bodily attractiveness, health and fertility. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 98–107. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2007.07.017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tovée, M. J., Mason, S. M., Emery, J. L., McCluskey, E. M., & Cohen-Tovée, E. M. (1997). Supermodels: Stick insects or hourglasses? Lancet, 350, 1474–1475. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)64238-9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Voracek, M., & Fisher, M. L. (2006). Success is all in the measures: Androgenousness, curvaceousness, and starring frequencies in adult media actresses. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 35, 297–304. doi:10.1007/s10508-006-9021-y.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Waren, W. (2008). Characteristics of voluntary childless men. Paper presented at the meeting of the Population Association of America, New Orleans, LA.Google Scholar
  29. Zelazniewicz, A. M., & Pawlowski, B. (2011). Female breast size attractiveness for men as a function of sociosexual orientation (restricted vs. unrestricted). Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 1129–1135. doi:10.1007/s10508-011-9850-1.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySt. Jerome’s UniversityWaterlooCanada

Personalised recommendations