Friday, November 24, 2017

Women with smaller feet have prettier faces and men with small wrists are more attractive

According to evolutionary psychologists at the University at Albany, New York women with smaller feet have prettier faces. The same goes for women with longer thigh bones and narrower hips; as well as those who are taller overall.

Researchers measured hand length, foot length, thigh length and hip width on 60 white females, then adjusted each measurement to account for individual differences in overall height. For each of 16 body-part measurements, they selected the eight women with the shortest lengths and the eight with the longest, and constructed morphs of their faces. These morphs were then rated for attractiveness by 77 heterosexual males. Men were three-and-a-half times more likely to pick the short-footed morph as more attractive, and almost 10 times as likely to say it was more feminine. Further they were more than 11 times as likely to pick the narrow-hipped morph as more attractive, and eight times as likely to choose the long-thighed morph. The researchers believe the reason why these features were attractive relates to markers of a healthy childhood. Biologists know stress and poor nutrition during foetal development and puberty can affect sex hormone levels and cause earlier puberty. Women with a benign childhood continue to grow for longer, and display a more slender and stereotypically feminine face and body, which most men find more attractive.

Sixty seven (67) men were also morphed and when 82 heterosexual women were asked to rate the attractiveness and masculinity of morphs of eight male faces the results were less clear-cut than they had been for women. Female viewers chose morphs of men with long torsos as being more attractive, but they also thought men with small wrists were more attractive. Women were twice as likely to rate the large-wristed morph as more open to sex without love, and by the same margin opted for the small-wristed morph as a better candidate for a long-term relationship.

Interesting work and may go at least in part to help explain the sexual allure of small shoes. The displacement theory (focus moved from genitalia to head and feet) would see the female face generally get longer with hats etc but female feet were more likely to be hidden or covered. The work 'shoe' means to cover furtively.

Holmes B. 2010 Why men are attracted to women with small feet New Scientist.

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