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The Role of Waist-to-Hip Ratio in Evaluation of Female Physical Attractiveness: Eye-Tracker Data

Seda Dural, Hakan Çetinkaya, Evrim Gülbetekin
2008; 23(61):75-88

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This study attempted to investigate the relative role of body weight and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) on judgements of female physical attractiveness. The sample has consisted of 50 male and 50 female participants who are reportedly heterosexual with an age range of 18-22 years. Using a self-report technique, the participants judged the 12 three- dimensional female figures with different body weight and waist-to-hip ratios for their attractiveness. The participants’ visual responses to the figures were recorded to test their judgements of attractiveness empirically. Overally, the Multi Dimensional Scaling (MDS) analysis indicated that the participants’ judgements for attractiveness were mainly based on the WHR dimension. MDS data were reinforced by the data obtained from the eye-tracking system. The descriptive data suggested some sex differentiation in attractiveness ratings of the participants. The eye-tracking data provided clarifying information for these sex differences. The findings were discussed under the illumination of evolutionary hypotheses. Some methodological considerations were elaborated, and a set of resolutions were proposed.

Keywords: Waist-to-hip ratio, body weight, physical attractiveness, 3D female figures, eye-tracking, evolutionary psychological approach