According to a new study published in Sexual Behavior Archives. Also, while the larger upper body increases the attractive ratings for taller men, it doesn’t seem to have the same effect for shorter men.
“Previous research has examined indicators of body attractiveness in both men and women and found that two characteristics of men’s height and upper body size contribute to their perception of attractiveness, masculinity, dominance, fighting ability, etc,” said study author Farid Pazhoohi. , postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia.
“One of the limitations of this previous research is that it looked at each trait separately and individually; however, we know that the perception of attractiveness is multivariate, which means that several characteristics and traits would contribute to our perception (we do not rate the bodily attractiveness of individuals based on one trait at a time, but it are several traits that, when combined, influence our perception of others).”
In four studies of 659 heterosexual women recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk, researchers examined how men’s height and shoulder-hip ratio influenced perceptions of attractiveness, masculinity, and fighting ability. Participants saw representations of male bodies with heights ranging from 160cm (5′3″) to 190cm (6′3″) and three degrees of shoulder-hip ratio.
“We wanted to take the first step in studying multivariate physical characteristics of men’s bodies on perceived female attractiveness by combining 1) height and 2) upper body height (measured by the shoulder-to-body ratio). hip),” Pazhoohi explained. “We therefore systematically explored the combined effects of men’s height and upper body size on perceptions of attractiveness, masculinity, and fighting ability.”
The researchers found that women tended to view taller men as more physically attractive, more masculine, and having greater fighting ability. The same was generally true for men with broader shoulders.
“Our results showed that ‘women’s perceptions of men’s attractiveness, masculinity, and fighting ability were influenced and interacted with height and SHR,'” Pazhoohi told PsyPost. women preferred taller, broader-shouldered men, and particularly when these two traits were exhibited in combination (or interacted together). We suggested that “when studying women’s preference for body attractiveness, masculinity and male fighting ability, future research should consider a fuller integration of physical characteristics.”
The first three studies used black and white silhouettes as stimuli. The first two studies also included female stimuli to mask the purpose of the research. The fourth study used colorized and more realistic renderings of human bodies.
Interestingly, the fourth study provided evidence that women did not view wider shoulders as more attractive for shorter men. Higher shoulder-hip ratios were found to be more attractive in taller men, but did not influence attractiveness ratings for shorter men.
“Another contribution of this article is that through four studies, we tried to see if men’s perception of body size/shape is influenced by experimental design and ecological validity of stimuli,” Pazhoohi explained. “We found that the interactive effects of size and SHR emerged when participants observed a combination of the two traits rather than a single trait, and where we used the stimuli with more ecological validity (color avatar renderings than of silhouettes). These are experimental notes that researchers can take into account in their designs in future research.
The study, “The interactive effects of height and shoulder-hip ratio on perceptions of attractiveness, masculinity, and fighting ability: experimental design and ecological validity considerations,” was authored by Farid Pazhoohi , Ray Garza and Alan Kingstone.