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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Big feet are big in Indonesia




A new population study in Indonesian rural community conducted by anthropologist, Geoff Kushnick , from the University of Washington suggests there is a cluster of foot fetishists among the males of the Karo people (Batak) in Indonesia.



Karo men prefer their women with big feet. The Indonesia group’s preference for big feet is thought to be linked to the society’s ecological context and limited exposure to Western media. Kushnick’ hypothesis is Karo males preferred women with big feet because it showed strength and greater productivity in the rice fields. One hundred and fifty (159) Karo Batak adults were given five drawings of barefoot woman with long hair pulled back and dressed in a shirt and a skirt reaching mid-calf. The drawings were all the same except the differences in foot size. He found that both male and female participants in the study said the woman with the largest feet was the most attractive, and the one with the smallest feet was least attractive. The researcher compared his results with earlier studies and looked for an association between societies’ foot-size preferences and three potential causes, including patriarchal values, rural versus urban ecology, and exposure to Western media. He found that both rural ecology and less exposure to Western media showed a statistical association with the preference for women with larger feet, whereas small feet were more desirable in urban societies with more exposure to Western media. Previous studies have found that people in Iran, Lithuania, Brazil, the US and India prefer women with small feet. By contrast men from Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and Tanzania prefer women with big feet.

1 comment:

Ina said...

It would be interesting to know about the incidence of hallux valgus among Karo people and in other few cultures which prefer big-footed women. Anyway, perhaps I could try to console my female customers who are often ashamed to answer about their shoe size that they would be more than appreciated in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and Tanzania.