Ideal body size identified
(Medical Xpress)—The ideal male and female bodies according to each of the sexes have been identified by researchers at Newcastle University using a special 3D design programme.
The findings, published today in the journal PLOS One, reveal the remarkable similarities and differences in what men and women find attractive but also what they perceive to be attractive in their own sex. The research is part of a bigger project looking at the causes of, and possible treatments for, anorexia.
Eighty heterosexual men and women, average age 19, were asked what the ideal body size and shape was they wanted for themselves and their partners and what the important physical features in this ideal were. They used the design programme to create their ultimate body shapes and the researchers used this to calculate BMI and measure other factors such as waist and chest size.
Interestingly both sexes selected images for the opposite sex and themselves which were of healthy body sizes.
However they also over-played the importance of a large upper body. For example women over-emphasised chest size while men beefed up their legs and chest.
Thirty nine of the forty women had a higher BMI than their designed body would have had, while half the men were heavier than their ideal body shape.
Using the programme the shape and size of a 3D body can be altered in over 90 independent dimensions using sliders, allowing each participant to create the exact size and shape of the body they want.
Predictably the most important feature for the ideal female body seems to be a very slim body, a BMI of approximately 19, which is only just in the healthy range at the bottom of BMI scale. This was true both of the female ideal produced by women and the ideal female partner's body set by the men.
For male physical attractiveness, upper body strength seemed to be the most important feature. Both men's ideal body and women's ideal male partner's body has wide shoulders and chest and a narrow waist (the classic V-shaped torso), with a BMI of about 25, again only just in the healthy range, but this time at the top of the scale.
So both men and women agree on what is beautiful in their respective sexes, but the male and female bodies differ in what is needed to be attractive. The female body needs to be slim, but the male body needs to be big and muscular.
Lead author of the paper, Dr Martin Tovee, Reader in visual cognition at Newcastle University, said: "Previous studies have been a lot more limited in the options it gave people to select their ideal body shapes. This way gave them complete freedom to create what they thought would be attractive and what they found attractive themselves.
"Much of what we found isn't surprising, in that healthy body shapes are also the most attractive, which from an evolutionary point of view makes sense. But social factors seem to have come into play as well, with both sexes over estimating key areas such as amount of muscle or breast size.
"Neither model differed in huge amounts though so maybe men aren't from Mars and women from Venus, we're a lot closer in our opinions than that."
For the next stage of the project the team will ask the volunteers to estimate their own body size using the same programme. This will be used to identify if there is a link between weight and perceptions of weight.
Journal reference: PLoS ONE
Provided by Newcastle University
- Stress makes men appreciate heavier women: study Aug 08, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Watching curvaceous women feels like drugs to men: study Feb 25, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Study shows real partners are no match for ideal mate Oct 01, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Unlocking the secret of beauty: Scientists discover the complexities of attractive female bodies Sep 28, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Frequency of fat talk associated with increased body dissatisfaction, regardless of waistline Mar 29, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
12 hours ago Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study. This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 3 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (5) | 0 |
Nervous about that upcoming job interview? You might want to take steps to reduce your jitters, especially if you are a man.
Psychology & Psychiatry 4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Research by U of T Mississauga psychology professor Glenn Schellenberg reveals that two key personality traits – openness-to-experience and conscientiousness—predict better than IQ ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 6 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Parents naturally are concerned for their children's safety, particularly when there is news of a child abduction that happens close to home. Finding the balance between emotions and the "teachable moment" as parents talk ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new report on suicide in Ireland shows that suicide cases experienced a significant number (and intensity) of life events in the 6 months prior to their death.
Psychology & Psychiatry 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Cinnamon: Can the red-brown spice with the unmistakable fragrance and variety of uses offer an important benefit? The common baking spice might hold the key to delaying the onset of –– or warding off ...
11 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Chinese and U.S. scientists have used virus isolated from a person who died from H7N9 avian influenza infection to determine whether the virus could infect and be transmitted between ferrets. Ferrets are often used as a mammalian ...
36 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
By discovering the new mechanism by which estrogen suppresses lipid synthesis in the liver, UC Irvine endocrinologists have revealed a potential new approach toward treating certain liver diseases.
12 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
UCLA researchers examining outcomes for advanced heart-failure patients over the past two decades have found that, coinciding with the increased availability and use of new therapies, overall mortality has decreased and sudden ...
16 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Aortic arch pulse wave velocity, a measure of arterial stiffness, is a strong independent predictor of disease of the vessels that supply blood to the brain, according to a new study published in the June issue the journal ...
17 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as the sensation of ...
1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |