The mystery of female beauty

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136 Citations (Scopus)


Evolutionary psychology suggests that a woman’s sexual attractiveness might be based on cues of reproductive potential. It has been proposed that a major determinant of physical attractiveness is the ratio between her waist and hip measurements (the waist-to-hip ratio, or WHR): for example, a woman with a curvaceous body and a WHR of 0.7 is considered to be optimally attractive, presumably because this WHR is the result of a fat distribution that maximizes reproductive potential. It follows that the preference for a curvaceous body shape in women should be universal among men and not be culturally based, because natural selection presumably favours cues indicative of the most fertile body shape.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-216
Number of pages2
Issue number6733
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 1999
Externally publishedYes


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