Waist‐to‐Hip Ratio across Cultures: Trade‐Offs between Androgen‐ and Estrogen‐Dependent Traits

@article{Cashdan2008WaisttoHipRA,
  title={Waist‐to‐Hip Ratio across Cultures: Trade‐Offs between Androgen‐ and Estrogen‐Dependent Traits},
  author={Elizabeth Cashdan},
  journal={Current Anthropology},
  year={2008},
  volume={49},
  pages={1099 - 1107}
}
  • E. Cashdan
  • Published 1 December 2008
  • Biology
  • Current Anthropology
A gynoid pattern of fat distribution, with small waist and large hips (low waist‐to‐hip ratio, or WHR) holds significant fitness benefits for women: women with a low WHR of about 0.7 are more fecund, are less prone to chronic disease, and (in most cultures) are considered more attractive. Why, then, do nearly all women have a WHR higher than this putative optimum? Is the marked variation in this trait adaptive? This paper first documents the conundrum by showing that female WHR, especially in… 

Waist-to-hip ratio, body-mass index, age and number of children in seven traditional societies

It is suggested that WHR is a reliable cue to female reproductive history, and the results are discussed in the context of previous studies indicating usefulness of WHR as an indicator of health and fertility.

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Male preferences for female WHR are investigated using a high precision assessment procedure and digitally manufactured, high quality, anthropometrically informed stimuli which were disentangled from body mass covariation.

Changing Male Preferences for Female Body Type in the US: An Adaptive Response to a Changing Socioeconomic Climate

The debate over changing ideals of beauty in Western society remains unresolved more than 20 years after Singh’s (1993) seminal study [1] suggesting there was a universal male preference for a female

Male preferences for female waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

It is shown that the hourglass female figure is rated as attractive by men living in a remote, indigenous community, and that when controlling for BMI, WHR plays a crucial role in their attractiveness judgments.

What Makes Jessica Rabbit Sexy? Contrasting Roles of Waist and Hip Size

While waist/hip ratio (WHR) and body mass index (BMI) have been the most studied putative determinants of female bodily attractiveness, BMI is not directly observable, and few studies have considered

Fertility, body size, and shape: An empirical test of the covert maternal depletion hypothesis

  • Ilona NenkoG. Jasienska
  • Medicine
    American journal of human biology : the official journal of the Human Biology Council
  • 2009
In conclusion, parity caused a slightly higher body mass and BMI later in life, however, parity did not lead to covert maternal depletion, perhaps because women in this population have relatively high‐dietary intake of PUFAs.

Sex Differences in the Associations Between Body Shape and Pain Expression

The findings suggest that sexually selected physical characteristics (WHR and SHR) and culturally influenced somatic (BMI) and psychological (SBI) indicators of attractiveness correspond with variability in pain reporting, potentially reflecting the general tendency for people to express clusters of sexually selected and cultural influenced traits that may include differential pain perception.

Iranian men's waist-to-hip ratios, shoulder-to-hip ratios, body esteem and self-efficacy

Abstract Waist-to-chest (WCR) and waist-to-shoulder (WSR) ratios are good predictors of male physical attractiveness and women have been shown to prefer higher waist-to-hip ratios (WHR) in men. This

The Curse of Curves

The findings suggest that sexually selected physical characteristics (WHR and SHR) and culturally influenced somatic (BMI) and psychological (SBI) indicators of attractiveness correspond with variability in pain reporting, potentially reflecting the general tendency for people to express clusters of sexually selected and cultural influenced traits that may include differential pain perception.
...

References

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Waist-to-Hip Ratio Is Positively Associated With Bioavailable Testosterone but Negatively Associated With Sexual Desire in Healthy Premenopausal Women

The results confirm that the positive association between WHR and androgens seen in clinical populations also exists in the general population of healthy adult women, however, the relationship may not be strong enough in healthy women for WHR to serve as a useful biomarker of androgen levels in sexuality studies.

Maternal waist-to-hip ratio does not predict child gender

Differences in attractiveness preferences between different ethic groups are actually based on weight scaled for height (the body mass index or BMI) rather than the WHR since although there will be a preferred optimal BMI for each ethnic group, which will balance environmental and health factors, this optimal BMI may differ between groups and environments.

Large breasts and narrow waists indicate high reproductive potential in women

It is documented that women with higher breast–to–underbreast ratio (large breasts) and women with relatively low WHR (narrow waists) have higher fecundity as assessed by precise measurements of daily levels of 17–β–oestradiol (E2) and progesterone.

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Ethnic and gender consensus for the effect of waist-to-hip ratio on judgment of women’s attractiveness

Results show that neither Indonesian nor Afro-American subjects judge overweight figures as attractive and healthy regardless of the size of WHR, which suggests that various cultural groups have similar criteria for judging the ideal woman’s shape.

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