Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unlocking the secret of beauty: Scientists discover the complexities of attractive female bodies

Date:
October 3, 2010
Source:
Wiley - Blackwell
Summary:
Scientists have conducted a comprehensive study to discover how different body measurements correspond with ratings of female attractiveness. The study found that across cultural divides young, tall and long armed women were considered the most attractive.

Scientists in Australia and Hong Kong have conducted a comprehensive study to discover how different body measurements correspond with ratings of female attractiveness. The study found that across cultural divides young, tall and long armed women were considered the most attractive.
Credit: iStockphoto/Lev Dolgatshjov

Scientists in Australia and Hong Kong have conducted a comprehensive study to discover how different body measurements correspond with ratings of female attractiveness. The study, published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, found that across cultural divides young, tall and long armed women were considered the most attractive.

"Physical attractiveness is an important determining factor for evolutionary, social and economic success," said lead author Robert Brooks from the University of New South Wales. "The dimensions of someone's body can tell observers if that person is suitable as a potential mate, a long term partner or perhaps the threat they pose as a sexual competitor."

Traditional studies of attractiveness have been bound to the Darwinian idea of natural selection, which argues that an individual will always choose the best possible mate that circumstances will allow. Such studies have focused on torso, waist, bust and hip measurements.

In this study the team measured the attractiveness of scans of 96 bodies of Chinese women who were either students or volunteers, aged between 20-49 years of age.

Videos of the models were shown to a sample of 92 Australian adults, 40 men and 52 women, aged between 18 to 58 years of age, and mostly of European descent. They then compared the attractiveness ratings given by the Australian group to the ratings from a group in Hong Kong to avoid cultural bias.

Both sample groups were asked to rate the models' attractiveness on a 7 point scale; on average the raters took just 5.35 seconds to rate each model. The team then explored the statistical results, focusing on age, body weight and a range of length and girth measurements.

The results showed that there was a strong level of agreement between the 4 groups of Australian men and women, and Hong Kong men and women, with scans of younger, taller and lighter women being rated as more attractive. Women with narrow waists, especially relative to their height, were also considered much more attractive.

The study also revealed that BMI (Body mass index) and HWR (Hip to waist ratio) were both strong predictors of attractiveness. Scans of taller women who had longer arms were also rated highly, however leg size did not contribute significantly to the ratings.

"Our results showed consistent attractiveness ratings by men and women and by Hong Kong Chinese and Australian raters, suggesting considerable cross cultural consistency," concluded Brooks. "In part this may be due to shared media experiences. Nonetheless when models are stripped of their most obvious racial and cultural features, the features that make bodies attractive tend to be shared by men and women across cultural divides."

Brooks and his colleagues have taken their studies of the complexities of male and female attractiveness online at:


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley - Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. Brooks, J. P. Shelly, J. Fan, L. Zhai, D. K. P. Chau. Much more than a ratio: multivariate selection on female bodies. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2010; 23 (10): 2238 DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02088.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley - Blackwell. "Unlocking the secret of beauty: Scientists discover the complexities of attractive female bodies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928083844.htm>.
Wiley - Blackwell. (2010, October 3). Unlocking the secret of beauty: Scientists discover the complexities of attractive female bodies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928083844.htm
Wiley - Blackwell. "Unlocking the secret of beauty: Scientists discover the complexities of attractive female bodies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928083844.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins