A study was conducted to assess the effect of various body shapes and where fat is deposited on female attractiveness, other than the convenient indicators like age, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) or body mass index (BMI). Australian and Chinese men and women gave a similar rating to the attractiveness of images generated by computers of female bodies. The results showed that measures of girth (upper arm, thigh, ankle, bust and waist) and length (overall height and vertical distance between waist and hip) are more significant indicators of attractiveness than WHR or BMI.
The physical characteristics of a person can provide information about the individual as a potential mate, or even the threat he or she may present as a sexual competitor. Studies of attractiveness of female bodies have always focused on the waist, hips and bust, particularly on overall weight (BMI) or abdominal girth (WHR). “Studies of WHR and BMI in industrialized countries show that WHR of 0.7 and BMI of 18.5 to 20 are both correlated with high attractiveness.” The authors in this study, therefore, tried to understand not only the role of other traits and their interaction in determining attractiveness, but also whether those traits are shared consistently across cultures.
The samples included in the study were mostly from females with higher WHR, suggesting that inclusion of females equally with high and lower WHR could have prevented observational bias among the raters. The extents of physical traits that determine attractiveness vary among countries, cultures and socio-economic status, which needs to be studied further.
The study provides a thorough analysis of the effect of body shape and adiposity (girth) on female attractiveness. Indices of youth and adiposity are only part of body attractiveness. Other variables like height, vertical distance between waist and hip, arm length, upper arm girth, bust girth, waist girth, thigh girth and ankle girth showed a more positive correlation with attractiveness. “Not all fat, and thus not all measures of adiposity, have the same effects on fitness or well-being.” Therefore, the girths of limbs, bust and waist relative to overall height are more important measures than overall adiposity or waist adiposity.
For More Information:
Effect of Multivariate Factors on Determining Female Attractiveness
Publication Journal: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2010
By R. Brooks; J. P. Shelly; University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia