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Cross-Cultural Preferences for Women’s Waist to Hip Ratio and Men’s Shoulder to Hip Ratio: Data From Iran, Norway, Poland, and Russia

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Abstract

Objectives

Body size and shape are sexually dimorphic in humans, with men being characterized with larger upper bodies, while women typically having broader pelvises. Such sexually dimorphic traits, quantified as shoulder to hip ratio (SHR) in men and waist to hip ratio (WHR) in women, serve as cues of an individual’s genetic fitness, reproductive potential, health, and resource holding power, and, thereby, functioning as attractiveness cues to the opposite sex.

Methods

In the current study, we investigated men’s and women’s preference for the opposite sex body shape (WHR in women and SHR in men) in samples from Iran, Norway, Poland, and Russia. Women rated their preference for men’s SHR (1.20 to 1.50) and men rated their preference for women’s WHR (0.55 − 0.85).

Results and Conclusion

Our results showed that Iranian and Norwegian men preferred less feminine WHRs in women compared to Polish and Russian men. Moreover, Iranian women preferred less masculine SHRs in men than women from other countries. Altogether, the current research showed that there are variations in men’s preferences for women’s WHR and women’s preferences for men’s SHR among these countries.

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Funding

D.D. and D.G. were supported by the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE University). Marta Kowal was supported by the National Science Center, Poland (2019/33/N/HS6/00054).

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Contributions

F.P., conceptualization, data collection, formal analysis, writing—original draft preparation; R.A., R.C., D.D., K.G., N.G.M., D.G., M.K., S.P., G.P., data collection, writing—review and editing; R.A., Stimuli preparation; R.G., writing—review and editing.

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Correspondence to Farid Pazhoohi.

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Pazhoohi, F., Afhami, R., Chegeni, R. et al. Cross-Cultural Preferences for Women’s Waist to Hip Ratio and Men’s Shoulder to Hip Ratio: Data From Iran, Norway, Poland, and Russia. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology 10, 1–17 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40750-024-00232-7

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