What shape do men find attractive?

Of course, each man has his own “type.” But the research shared in the Discovery Channel program, “The Science of Sex Appeal” gives us some generalizations.

hourglassIn the program, a cross section of men rated the sex appeal of various computer-generated women’s silhouettes. (They didn’t alter the bust size so that had minimal influence on their choices.) The shape that was deemed the most appealing by the majority of men had a waist to hip ratio of .7. The ratio of a 24″ waist to 36″ hips is .66. The smaller the ratio the better, meaning the more pronounced the difference. It’s not surprising that the Barbie doll’s ratio is 5.4. Ll’l Kim is the best example of a famous woman with a pronounced ratio, at least by my estimation. Then perhaps Beyonce.

We would then assume that small-waisted, large-hipped women would be the rage, at least among the general male population, however this is clearly the ideal for some specialized groups. But they are not what is shown in the media as alluring for the masses. Supermodels have trimmer hips than this ratio.

Why do men find this shape so appealing? Evolutionary biologists believe is has to do with men being attracted to women with large enough hips to easily give birth, thus more likely to have his offspring survive. If her hips are too small, there’s a higher chance something could go wrong during childbirth.

The good news for midlife dating women is many of us now hove broader hips than when we were younger. So if your waist is relatively smaller, you should be in high demand!


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5 responses to “What shape do men find attractive?”

  1. Susan Trivers Avatar
    Susan Trivers

    Your last sentence cracked me up. We can only hope the men see it the same way.!

  2. Mark Avatar

    On the flip side of the coin, there have been studies of what shape women find attractive in a man, currently and in the past, and if that preference changed over time.

    One research report concluded that the women of 100+ years ago were attracted to larger men, what we would consider fat nowadays. They attributed this to the women associating huskiness with the ability to provide food for their family.

    I guess subconsciously, we’re all just looking to survive and reproduce! Too bad we weren’t living in the past… I wouldn’t have to keep making excuses for my mid-life crisis gut. lol

  3. Hot Alpha Female Avatar

    Supermodels have smaller hip ratios.

    That makes sense because most of the men that I speak to, think that supermodels are too skinny.

    You think about it in Hollywood too and some of the hipper and smaller waisted actresses are in high demand.

    Scarlett Johassan and Beyonce for example.

    How that I think of it, Hollywood was prolly a really bad example.


    But I agree with this article. A lot of that visceral attraction is created by all these subconscious biological tendencies to want to reproduce healthy offspring.

    Hot Alpha Female

  4. Lawnguy Avatar

    Scarlett Johanssen, Sade. and Jennifer Lopez probably reduce a man’s IQ by 25 to 50 points simply because of the hip and waist ratio. It ain’t their breasts that makes my knees weak. Its that narrow waist swelling out to those magnificent hips. It signals “Sex.Sex.Sex”

    What men find sexy in women is often not what women find sexy in other women. We’re visual creatures. We look at the mouth, the hair, the breasts, the butt and not necessarily in that order before we consider anything else. Its that ol’ primate legacy we carry around in our genes.

    Here’s the problem; As a single midlife man (been married, got grown kids, no strange addictions or felony convictions) my preference is to date women closer to my age. However, sometimes the weight thing gets in the way on how I respond to a woman. A lot ….for women in their late 40’s and 50’s. I just can’t get past the extra 50 lbs. thing. Its how I’m wired. I’m in great shape because I really work at it for health reasons. I feel shallow and perhaps I am but too thick is too thick.

  5. Counsel Avatar

    Perhaps this is an initial view, but I doubt the results… Here is why.

    Doesn’t ‘attraction’ mean you are attracted to the person? If so, a “pretty” girl may be “ugly” if she is rude, not intelligent, etc. It depends…

    We may “identify” body shapes as being “male” or “female,” but I don’t know that the time it takes to make a determination of hip/waist ration means anything except those tested may expect women to have that ratio…

    Sort of like asking a person what they think is “perfect” and then seeing their last 3 lovers… How close was each to the “perfect” definition. That is more likely what is perfect…. Isn’t it?