Characteristics of male attractiveness for women

Maisey, D. S., Vale, E. L. E., Cornelissen, P. L. and Tovee, M. J. (1999) Characteristics of male attractiveness for women. Lancet, 353 (9163). p. 1500. ISSN 0140-6736


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The results show that a woman’s ratings of male attractiveness can be explained by simple physical characteristics, in particular the waist-chest ratio (WCR). However, unlike female physical attractiveness, it is shape that is important for male attractiveness and not size. Women prefer men whose torso has an “inverted triangle” shape (ie, a narrow waist and a broad chest and shoulders). This is a shape consistent with physical strength and muscle development in the upper body. The BMI of the body is comparatively unimportant. By contrast, for female attractiveness the BMI accounts for more than 74% of the variance and WCR does not even reach significance. This is unlikely to be the result of differences in the way males and females rate the attractiveness of images, because women rate female bodies in exactly the same way that men do, with BMI as the primary determinant of attractiveness.

Keywords:body height, body mass, male, physical attractiveness, Beauty, Body Constitution, Body Mass Index, Sexuality, waist chest ratio, waist hip ratio
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social 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:24540
Deposited On:23 Aug 2017 16:26

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