Science Says This Female Body Type Is Most Attractive To Men

So, you don't have a visible thigh gap. This might put a damper on your ambitions to become an Instagram influencer, but if your goal is to appeal to the opposite sex, fret not. According to a University of Texas at Austin study, men are most attracted to women who have a waist that is approximately 30 percent narrower than their hips, or a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7. This isn't a current fad, either; it's a built-in biological preference, the research found. "The evidence summarized in this paper demolishes the myth that beauty is ever-changing, skin-deep, and superficial. The attractiveness judgment based on figures defined by waist-to-hip ratio is a robust phenomenon evident in various cultures," Dr. Devendra Singh, the author of the study, concluded.

This waist-to-hip ratio is your classic "hourglass figure," and women who are very thin, medium-sized, or plus-sized all can have this body type. For example, a tiny size 2 or 4 with an hourglass figure would have measurements of a 34-inch bust, 25-inch waist, and 36-inch hips; add two inches to each of those measurements, and you have a medium-sized woman who has an hourglass figure, and so on (per Evie).

Women with hourglass figures radiate fertility to men

So why do men like women with a traditional hourglass figure? Additional research published in Evolution and Human Behavior suggested that women who have an hourglass shape are most likely to get pregnant easily, have uncomplicated deliveries, and produce a type of fat that nourishes the baby's brain. This study also noted that women who have very narrow waists and fuller hips are more likely to be young and to not have been previously pregnant — yet more evidence that men are attracted to younger women. (As if that were newsworthy!)

While Dr. Singh's study suggested size didn't matter, just the waist-to-hip ratio, this research found a correlation between whatever weight was deemed as "youthful," which can vary from culture to culture. "In groups where women have less food and are heavier in their teens, men prefer the higher [body mass indexes] that indicate youth," the study's lead author, William D. Lassek, a researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California at Santa Barbara, explained to PsyPost. On the flip side, in cultures where younger women are slim, and gain weight as they age, the smaller hourglass shape is preferred.