Preferences for Sexually Dimorphic Body Characteristics Revealed in a Large Sample of Speed Daters
AuthorSidari, MJ; Lee, AJ; Murphy, SC; Sherlock, JM; Dixson, BJW; Zietsch, BP
Source TitleSocial Psychological and Personality Science
University of Melbourne Author/sMurphy, Sean
AffiliationMelbourne School of Psychological Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSidari, M. J., Lee, A. J., Murphy, S. C., Sherlock, J. M., Dixson, B. J. W. & Zietsch, B. P. (2021). Preferences for Sexually Dimorphic Body Characteristics Revealed in a Large Sample of Speed Daters. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 12 (2), pp.225-236. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550619882925.
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access URLAccepted version
While hundreds of studies have investigated the indices that make up attractive body shapes, these studies were based on preferences measured in the laboratory using pictorial stimuli. Whether these preferences translate into real-time, face-to-face evaluations of potential partners is unclear. Here, 539 (275 female) participants in 75 laboratory-based sessions had their body dimensions measured before engaging in round-robin speed dates. After each date, they rated each other’s body, face, personality, and overall attractiveness and noted whether they would go on a date with the partner. Women with smaller waists and lower waist-to-hip ratios were found most attractive, and men with broader shoulders and higher shoulder-to-waist (or hips) ratios were found most attractive. Taller individuals were preferred by both sexes. Our results show that body dimensions associated with greater health, reproductive value (in women), and formidability (in men) influence face-to-face evaluations of attractiveness, consistent with a role of intersexual selection in shaping human bodies.
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