Preferences for female body weight and shape in three European countries

Swami, V., Neto, F., Tovee, M. J. and Furnham, A. (2007) Preferences for female body weight and shape in three European countries. European Psychologist, 12 (3). pp. 220-228. ISSN 1016-9040

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Body mass index (BMI) and body shape as measured by the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) are important components in judgments of women's bodily attractiveness. The relative importance of each of these cues was examined in three countries: Britain, Spain, and Portugal. Male participants from Britain, Spain, and Portugal, respectively, were asked to rate a set of images of real women with known BMI and WHR. The results showed that, regardless of the cultural setting, BMI was the primary determinant of women's physical attractiveness, with consistent preferences for relatively slender women. WHR emerged as a significant predictor of attractiveness judgments for the Spanish and Portuguese groups (with preferences for low WHRs, indicative of a curvaceous female body), but not the British group. These findings are discussed in terms of the different cultural values ascribed to participants in the three countries.

Keywords:physical attractiveness, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, curvaceousness
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C841 Health Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:24479
Deposited On:07 Aug 2017 14:35

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