Individual difference factors and men's attraction to female body features /
Fawcett, Catherine C.
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Existing research on attraction to body features has suggested that men show general preferences for women with lower waist-to-hip ratios (WHR), larger breasts, and slender body weights. The present study intended to expand on this research by investigating several individual difference factors and their potential contribution to variation in what men find attractive in female body features. Two hundred and seventy-three men were assessed for sex-role identity, 2D:4D digit ratios (a possible marker of prenatal exposure to androgens, and thus masculinization), physical attractiveness, early sexual experiences (as indices of early sexual conditioning), and early family attitudes toward body features, as well as their current preferences for WHR, breast size, weight, and height in women. For WHR, as predicted, physical attractiveness, early sexual experiences, and lower (more masculine) right-hand 2D:4D ratios significantly predicted current preferences for more feminine (lower) WHR. Early sexual experiences significantly predicted later preferences for breast size; in addition, more masculine occupational preferences and lower (more masculine) left-hand 2D:4D ratios predicted preferences for larger breasts. Participants' height, education level, Unmitigated Agency (masculinity) scores, and early sexual experiences significantly predicted current preferences for height. Finally, early sexual experiences significantly predicted current preferences for weight. The results suggest that variation in preferences for women's bodily features can be uniquely accounted for by a number of individual difference factors. Strengths and weaknesses of the study, along with implications for future research, are discussed.