Study: Curvy hips lure men to smart women

Women with small waists and big hips also have big IQs, a new U.S. study has found.

A study of 16,000 women determined those with hourglass figures were more intelligent than their counterparts with round or straight bodies, The Sunday Times of London reported.

Curvier women also tended to have more intelligent children, possibly because omega3 fatty acids are stored in their hips, the British newspaper said. Skinny women, or those whose fat deposits are around their waists do not have such deposits.

The study, to be published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior this week, may explain earlier findings that men prefer women with smaller waists than hips even if they are compared to slimmer women, said the study's authors at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

It may also help break down the stereotype that attractive women are not intelligent, sexual and relationship psychologist Paula Hall told the newspaper.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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Citation: Study: Curvy hips lure men to smart women (2007, November 12) retrieved 17 September 2019 from
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Nov 12, 2007
My wife is going to love this.

Nov 13, 2007
The hypothesis and results of this study are being sorely misrepresented here and in other major media outlets. While they looked at Waist-to-Hip ratios, the study actually involved *fat deposits* NOT bone structure. Here is a link to the abstract, oddly missing from this "news story" in a (pseudo?) science website:

I and my mother are narrow-hipped. Ideally, we're both 34-28-34, the rectangular "non-curvy" variety. With the onset of pregnancy, however, my mother always ballooned out between the waist and knees. I have never been pregnant, so I do not know if the same fate awaits me, but I do know my IQ and I also know that throughout my entire career--academic and professional--my study partners, colleagues, and competitors for grades have definitely NOT been curvy, hour-glass shaped women. Sorry, but that's the truth. Also, to be perfectly clear, the weight my mother put on between the waist and knees during pregnancy was that extremely dimpled cellulite variety.

This is a study about the physiology of fat deposits, not about sexy, curvy women luring men. My father had no way of knowing my mother would balloon out when she got pregnant by her appearance when he met and married her.

Nov 13, 2007
Here's the link again, broken down so that it's not lost in html:

All of that goes on one line with no breaks or spaces.

The name of the article is:

Waist-hip ratio and cognitive ability: is gluteofemoral fat a privileged store of neurodevelopmental resources?

William D. Lasseka and Steven J.C. Gaulin
Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA and Department of Anthropology, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
The Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior received this article 16 April 2007; it was accepted for publication 26 July 2007. Available online 29 October 2007.

Nov 18, 2007
@ms126911: I perused the original journal article (I'm a graduate student in biology, so I have access to the full text), and I have to say that your comment is both sorely mistaken and incredibly unscientific.

First, while the researchers hypothesized that female gluteofemoral fat is the indicator of increased cognitive ability because it indicates an increase in omega-3 fatty acids, they did not directly test fat stores. They only compared measures of cognitive ability with measures of waist-hip ratios - it's entirely about the waist-hip ratio. Regardless of your mother's experience, which may indeed have indicated an increased amount of Omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy, your anecdotal account does not constitute scientific evidence. The same goes for your experience of intelligent (in your opinion), small-hipped colleagues - it cannot compete with a random sample of almost 2000 women and the results of the tests of cognitive skills that they completed. It goes without saying that they did not take these measurements during pregnancy, either - waist-hip ratios through the roof, anyone?

Your "ideal" WHR (0.82, from your numbers) is in the center of the range of those tested, by the way. You are apparently not as small-hipped as you think. They also controlled for other factors which seemed to be more influential, such as parents' education and family income.

I will admit that I have not completely evaluated their statistical methods, nor am I familiar with them. There may certainly be other problems with the study, just not the ones you chose to mention.

In further defense of (which I've never visited before - I found this story through a Google search after hearing about the study), news stories almost never link to the published journal article or its abstract. Is Scientific American a "pseudo-science" news site? I dare you to find a link to an abstract in more than a handful of its articles. Naming the journal of publication is enough, though usually the authors or their institutions are named (as in this article).

Nov 24, 2007
Link to the original story in the Sunday Times of London:

Nov 24, 2007
Functional link to the abstract on Science Direct:

Mar 08, 2008
>Women with small waists and big hips also have big IQs, a new U.S. study has found.

Its not about hips SIZE but the waist to hip RATIO!

Jul 27, 2009
So nerdy guys do finally get the 'movie chicks', in the end?

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