fundamental assumption of adaptive explanations of female attractiveness
is that bodily features that males judge as attractive reliably
signal youthfulness, healthiness, and fertility or female mate
value. One of the bodily features, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), is
a reliable indicator of a female’s reproductive age, sex hormone
profile, parity and risk for various diseases. Systematic variation
in the size of WHR also systematically affects the judgment of
female attractiveness, healthiness, and youthfulness. This article
summarizes recent findings about the relationship between female’s
WHR and various factors affecting reproductive capability and
risk for diseases. Research on the relationship between attractiveness
and WHR is discussed in light of some methodological objections
to previous research. Finally, cross-cultural and historical data
are presented that suggest that the relationship between WHR and
female attractiveness is not culture-specific and not inculcated
by modern Western fashion dictates or media.
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