For Women: Less Hips and Butt / Lower Waist / More Shoulders
Women's waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) varies with age, and a lower WHR is associated with a higher estrogen-to-androgen ratio and possibly higher fecundity, at least in some populations. Consequently, it has been argued that selection has favored a universal male preference for a low female WHR. In previous studies using frontal pictures, men in the United States preferred a low WHR of 0.7, but men among Hadza hunter–gatherers and a few other small-scale societies preferred higher ratios. Unlike the actual WHR of women, measured with a tape around the waist and the hips and buttocks, the WHR in frontal pictures excludes the buttocks. Because frontal WHR gives only a partial picture, we used profile views of women to measure men's preferences for the profile WHR. Hadza men preferred a lower profile WHR (more protruding buttocks) than American men. Since Hadza men preferred higher frontal WHR but lower profile WHR, and since both contribute to the actual WHR, these results imply there is less disparity between American and Hadza preferences for the actual WHR of real women. We suggest men's preferences vary with the geographic variation in the shape of women who have wider hips in some populations and more protruding buttocks in others.