01/09/2010 15:55 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Science Of Attraction Revealed


Most men say they want a woman with a good figure - but what exactly does that mean? Scientists say they have the answer.

Anthropologists in New Zealand carried out studies to find the precise waist to hip ratio that really drives men wild.

The study, led by Dr Barnaby Dixson, asked groups of volunteers to rate the attractiveness of images of women that had their bust, hip and waist sizes digitally altered.

As well as recording the volunteers' responses, the researchers tracked their eye movements with infra-red cameras.
Most men were initially drawn to the breasts, but hips and waists were also shown to be important in attraction. It was found that the most attractive waist to hip ratio is 0.7, meaning that the waist measurement is 70 per cent that of the hips. Get your tape measures out ladies.

To see this most desirable ratio in action, you need only look at famously attractive women such as Marilyn Monroe, Jessica Alba and even Kate Moss who, perhaps surprisingly, all share the magic 0.7 proportions.

And it wasn't just men in New Zealand who were most attracted to the 'hourglass' figure. Studies in the UK, Cameroon, Germany and China also find this ratio irresistible.

Dr Dixson says: "It is likely that the perfect 0.7 ratio sends a biological signal to men that this woman is most fertile and most likely to produce a healthy offspring, no matter what size that woman is.

"It is all about the distribution of fat which is directly linked to fertility."

And when it comes to what women want, we tend to prefer Bruce Lees to Arnies. The leaner physique is preferable to a bulked-up muscle man.

Dr Dixson adds: "On a biological level, women are more likely to pick a leaner, even slightly more effeminate man as they equate those physical traits with being more caring and gentle and therefore a better prospect as a partner.

"Humans simply do not mate randomly."

To find your own waist to hip ratio, simply measure the narrowest point of your waist and the widest point of your hips then divide the waist by the hip.

What do you think? Is it news to you that men are attracted to hourglass figures? Leave your comments below...