Researchers compare hip width and sexual behavior

April 23, 2014, Springer

In a new study, women who were more inclined to have one-night stands had wider hips, reveals Colin A. Hendrie of the University of Leeds in the UK. He is the lead author of a study into how a woman's build influences her sexual behavior, published in Springer's journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

The study into whether hip width or waist-to-hip ratio was a better predictor of a woman's was conducted among 148 between 18 and 26 years old. The participants all had at least one sexual partner previously. Their hip width (defined as the distance between the upper outer edges of the iliac crest bones of the pelvis) was measured, as well as their hip circumference at the widest point and their waist circumference at its narrowest point. Participants also completed a questionnaire about their sexual histories, including the age at which they lost their virginity, the number of they had had, and information about emotionally significant they had had.

The results show that the number of sexual partners a woman had is largely driven by one-night stand behavior. This, in turn, correlates with a woman's hip width and not waist-to-hip ratio. Overall, women in this study with wider than 36 centimeters (14.2 inches) had more sexual partners and more one-night stands than women with hips under 31 centimeters (12.2 inches) wide. More specifically, the women for whom one-night stands accounted for three out of every four of their sexual relationships had hips at least two centimeters (0.8 inches) wider than their counterparts in whose lives such fleeting relationships were not as prevalent.

The researchers, Hendrie and co-authors Victoria J. Simpson and Gayle Brewer, surmise that women with wider hips are more likely to engage in sex because the birth process is generally easier and less traumatic for them than for smaller-hipped women (below 31cm). This in turn relates back to how humans learned to walk upright and the subsequent development of narrower hips to make it easier to walk. In the process, female hips have become just wide enough to allow childbirth. Infants are born at a less developed stage than most other primates because of this restriction, and therefore need much more care and investment after birth from their mothers and fathers.

"Women's hip width has a direct impact on their risk of potentially fatal childbirth-related injury. It seems that when women have control over their own sexual activity this risk is reflected in their behavior. Women's sexual activity is therefore at least in part influenced by hip width," concludes Hendrie. He added, however, that statements about causality cannot be made using the current data and it remains to be seen if these conclusions can be generalized to other populations and cultures.

Explore further: There's no faking it—your sexual partner knows if you're really satisfied

More information: Simpson, V.J. et al. (2014). Evidence to Suggest That Women's Sexual Behavior Is Influenced by Hip Width Rather than Waist-to-Hip Ratio, Archives of Sexual Behavior, DOI: 10.1007/s10508-014-0289-z

Related Stories

There's no faking it—your sexual partner knows if you're really satisfied

April 10, 2014
There is no point faking it in bed because chances are your sexual partner will be able to tell. A study by researchers at the University of Waterloo found that men and women are equally perceptive of their partners' levels ...

Genetics may explain high-functioning senior athletes with hip abnormalities

March 11, 2014
Genetics may explain why some senior athletes are high functioning despite having one or both hip abnormalities typically associated with early onset osteoarthritis (OA): developmental dislocation of the hip (dysplasia), ...

Health and "hookups" correlated in first-year college women

January 15, 2014
Sexual experimentation outside of committed romantic relationships, or "hooking up," is typically portrayed by the media as unhealthy, especially for young women. These portrayals, however, are largely conjecture. Researchers ...

Free birth control doesn't promote risky sexual behavior in women

March 7, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—New research shows that providing women with free contraception does not increase the likelihood that they will have sex with multiple partners, as critics of the practice have suggested.

Men, women in more satisfying relationships have lower testosterone

April 11, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Many people assume that the more testosterone, the better, but a new University of Michigan study finds that might not always be the case in romantic relationships.

Both parents experience highs and lows in sexuality after childbirth

August 1, 2013
Partners of new mothers often experience shifts in sexuality, and these shifts are often unrelated to biological or medical factors pertaining to childbirth. The findings, which are published in a recent issue of The Journal ...

Recommended for you

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

Study reveals what sleep talkers have to say

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers with members from several institutions in France has conducted a study regarding sleep talking and has found that most sleep talking is not only negative in nature, but involves a large amount of swearing. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.