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Preferences for female body weight and shape in three European countries

Swami, Viren and Neto, Felix and Tovee, Martin J. and Furnham, Adrian (2007) Preferences for female body weight and shape in three European countries. European Psychologist, 12 (3). pp. 220-228. ISSN 1016-9040

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1027/1016-9040.12.3.220

Abstract

Body mass index (BMI) and body shape as measured by the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) are important components in judgments of women's bodily attractiveness. The relative importance of each of these cues was examined in three countries: Britain, Spain, and Portugal. Male participants from Britain, Spain, and Portugal, respectively, were asked to rate a set of images of real women with known BMI and WHR. The results showed that, regardless of the cultural setting, BMI was the primary determinant of women's physical attractiveness, with consistent preferences for relatively slender women. WHR emerged as a significant predictor of attractiveness judgments for the Spanish and Portuguese groups (with preferences for low WHRs, indicative of a curvaceous female body), but not the British group. These findings are discussed in terms of the different cultural values ascribed to participants in the three countries.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Physical attractiveness, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, curvaceousness
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:4866
Deposited On:19 May 2008 10:50
Last Modified:05 Nov 2009 12:32

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