To be honest, we almost ignored this study entirely when we read about it on Asylum. Men? Attracted to hourglass female body shapes? Never! It’s what we like to call Sky Is Blue News, but figured there might be one or two readers in the dark about how fellas love womanly curves. So here it goes.
Sir Mix-A-Lot songs aside, a group of scientists deduced there wasn’t enough empirical evidence proving men are turned on by wide hips, so they recruited 14 young men, hooked them up to wires and showed them pictures of female behinds. It was a tough job for that poor control group, but they soldiered through and gave the scholars some shocking results.
Men like curvy backsides! Like them so much, in fact, that the more pronounced the waist to hip ratio the more the male brain mimics that of being high or drunk. Looking at pictures of rounded backsides, they say, instantly activates the brain’s natural reward system. A possible explanation for pornography addiction and the success of Jennifer Lopez, for starters.
On a gross and slightly disturbing note, the study also mentions the female butts were before and after pictures of seven women pre- and post-butt enhancement surgery, where fat was taken from other areas and redistributed to make for a more bubbley derriere. It was unanimous—the men preferred the post-op buttocks, which we’re sure was a relief for the ladies who found sitting a challenge for several weeks after the probably very uncomfortable procedure.
Researcher Steven Platek, an evolutionary cognitive neuroscientist at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Georgia, noted these results could explain men who suffer from erectile dysfunction when in the absence of porn and infidelity (which makes our feminine heart cry). Also, women should not be hoodwinked by the fashion industry and its stick-figure perception of beauty. The runway model body ideal has not trickled down to the stubborn male brain.
The scientists also found that changes in a woman’s body-mass index or BMI—a common measure of body fat—only really affected brain areas linked to simple visual evaluations of size and shape. This may be evidence that body fatinfluences judgments of female beauty due more to societal norms than brain wiring.
“The media portrays women as wholly too skinny,” Platek said. “It’s not just about body fat, or body mass index.”
So it’s fine to have a few extra—as long as it’s in your butt. And if you aren’t blessed with those proportions? There’s always butt implants. Or the route we go: a flattering pair of butt jeans and a man evolved enough not to judge.
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