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Why the 'perfect' body isn't always perfect
Date:12/2/2008

petition, particularly under stressful circumstances," writes Cashdan. "The androgenic effectsstamina, initiative, risk-proneness, assertiveness, dominanceshould be particularly useful where a woman must depend on her own resources to support herself and her family."

In other words, trading the benefits of a thin waist for better ability to collect resources may be a good deal in certain societies and situations. And there is evidence that male mate preferences may reflect this trade-off, according to Cashdan.

In Japan, Greece and Portugal, where women tend to be less economically independent, men place a higher value on a thin waist than men in Britain or Denmark, where there tends to be more sexual equality. And in some non-Western societies where food is scarce and women bear the responsibility for finding it, men actually prefer larger waist-to-hip ratios.

"Waist-to-hip ratio may indeed be a useful signal to men, then, but whether men prefer a WHR associated with lower or higher androgen/estrogen ratios (or value them equally) should depend on the degree to which they want their mates to be strong, tough, economically successful and politically competitive," Cashdan writes.

"And from a woman's perspective, men's preferences are not the only thing that matters."


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Contact: Kevin Stacey
kstacey@uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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