Bodily Attractiveness as a Window to Women’s Fertility and Reproductive Value  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Bodily Attractiveness as a Window to Women’s Fertility and Reproductive Value" (2014) is a paper by Jaime M. Cloud and Carin Perilloux, published in Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Sexual Psychology and Behavior Evolutionary Psychology (20104)

Abstract:

In this chapter, we examine, from an ultimate perspective, how and why various bodily traits—leg length, foot size, breast size, body shape (waist-to-hip ratio), and body size (body mass index)—affect judgments of female attractiveness. Bodily trait values associated with optimal health and reproductive profiles are generally considered attractive across cultures and time periods, yet some traits may showcase certain classes of information better than others. Namely, bodily traits appear to better convey a woman’s immediate fertility, while facial traits may better convey her reproductive value. Consistent with this premise, we review research demonstrating a perceptual tendency for men to preferentially attend to women’s bodies in short-term mating contexts but not long-term mating contexts. Finally, we suggest future directions that promise to spur research on the asymmetrical abilities of facial and bodily traits to reveal key information pertaining to women’s reproductive condition.

The paper is dedicated to the memory of Devendra Singh (1938–2010) and features the result of the Singh's research into the "Rubenesque".




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