One of the best established facts in the study of the science behind beauty is that men find a waist to hip ratio in women of about 0.7 the most attractive. Its a brave group that will challenge this view, but an Australian group has done so in a recently published study. They showed men pictures of average women, Playboy centrefolds, photos from escort ads and curvaceous models from the twenties and nineties. (“Yeah, of course this is science, mate”.)
Perhaps surprisingly, the top votes were scored by the average women.
Personally I am not particularly shocked at this finding. Men’s apparatus for assessing the opposite sex is quite sophisticated and above all is pretty realistic. I am sure the fact that most men are well aware that they have more chance of actually establishing a relationship with an average woman than a pin up must have had a bigger influence than any measurable physical feature including waist and hip size. In any case there is usually some kind of trade off in these things. An hour glass figure probably has some other cost.
Still, I am sure it was an interesting and enjoyable study to carry out and to participate in, so good on yer cobbers!
Donohoe ML, Hippel Wv, Brooks RC, 2009. Beyond waist-hip ratio: experimental multivariate evidence that average women’s torsos are most attractive. Behav Ecol 19