Optimum body-mass index and maximum sexual attractiveness

Tovee, M. J., Reinhardt, S., Emery, J. L. and Cornelissen, P. L. (1998) Optimum body-mass index and maximum sexual attractiveness. The Lancet, 352 . p. 548. ISSN 0140-6736

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Evolutionary psychology suggests that a woman’s sexual attractiveness is based on cues of reproductive potential. We
compared two potential cues of body shape and weight. The conventional measure of female body shape is the
waist/hip ratio, which has become a major determinant of physical attractiveness. A ratio of 0·7 (a curvaceous body) is
said to be the optimum of attractiveness. The waist/hip ratio is thought to represent a fat distribution that leads to
maximum fertility. However, anorexic women (who are amenorrhoeic and, therefore, infertile) can have the same
waist/hip ratio as normal women, which suggests that this ratio is not a reliable measure of reproductive potential.
We suggest that body-mass index is more closely related to fertility and health than waist/hip ratio, and, therefore,
should be more important in determination of sexual attractiveness.

Keywords:body mass index, BMI, Waist Hip Ratio, WHR, Attractiveness, Beauty
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C841 Health Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:28894
Deposited On:04 Oct 2017 10:13

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