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Biol Psychol. 2006 Feb;71(2):223-9. Epub 2005 Jul 12.

Judging female figures: a new methodological approach to male attractiveness judgments of female waist-to-hip ratio.

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Universität Bielefeld, Abteilung für Psychologie, Postfach 100 131, 33501 Bielefeld, Germany.


The procedure in previous research on attractiveness judgments of female waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) presumably supported an elaborate, effortful and deliberate decision process. In contrast, motivated by evolutionary psychological considerations about the psychological mechanism underlying attractiveness judgments of female WHR, the present study differed from previous research inasmuch as: (a) the participants were uninformed in advance about the various female figures; (b) the exposure time of the female figures was very brief; (c) trials were presented in rapid succession; (d) the participants were instructed to judge spontaneously; (e) forced-choice preference judgments and their underlying judgment times were registered. The results confirmed previous research that men prefer a normal weight figure with a .7 WHR. Additionally, judgments in favor of this figure were made most rapidly. Finally, attractiveness judgments and judgment times were found to be more closely related to those for health than for fecundity or pregnancy judgments.

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