Sidari M, Lee A, Murphy S, Sherlock J, Barnaby D & Zietsch B (2020) Preferences for sexually dimorphic body characteristics revealed in a large sample of speed daters. Social Psychological and Personality Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550619882925
While hundreds of studies have investigated the indices that make up attractive body shapes, these studies were based on preferences measured in the lab 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 lab-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, fertility, and (in men) formidability influence face-to-face evaluations of attractiveness, consistent with a role of intersexual selection in shaping human bodies.
Body shape; intersexual selection; mate preferences; speed-dating; physical attractiveness
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
Social Psychological and Personality Science