26th May, 2013
For men wishing to attract women, penis size matters about as much as body height, and a good broad-shouldered figure matters much more than either, new research suggests.
Scientists examined the relative importance of these traits in female rankings of male attractiveness using life-sized, computer-generated images of nude men.
The study was the first to assess the importance of those three factors in combination rather than in isolation, said the investigators, Brian S. Mautz of Australian National University and colleagues. This change is important because females might evaluate factors in relation to each other: for example, “the same sized penis might be perceived differently on short and tall men,” the researchers wrote, reporting their study in this week’s early online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Mautz and colleagues wrote that they presented a sample 105, heterosexual Australian women of average age 26 “with projected life-size, computer generated male figures. Each figure was an animated [4-second] video in which the figure rotated 30 degrees to each side to allow participants to more easily evaluate the figure. We tested for the effects of flaccid penis size, body shape (shoulder-to-hip ratio), and height on male sexual attractiveness. The latter two traits have regularly been investigated and are known to influence male attractiveness or reproductive success.”
The new findings show that “female mate choice could have played a role in the evolution of the relatively large human male penis,” along with those two other traits, they wrote.
The images used in the study were life-sized in order to more realistically assess the role of height, Mautz and colleagues wrote. They noted that a female’s own body shape could influence her ratings, too; for instance, taller women placed more of a premium on taller men.
Overall, broad shoulders as compared to the hips were the most important factor in attractiveness ratings, accounting for 79.6 percent of the variation in these rankings, the study found. Penis size and height accounted for 6.1 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively.
The huge effect of shoulder-to-hip ratio might have resulted because the computer figures veered strongly into “unattractive” territory with wider hips than shoulders, the scientists speculated. “However, given increasing waistlines, the values we used are well within the range now seen in many Western countries.”
If there is any “ideal” penis size, it seems to be larger than range shown in the study, which went from 5 to 13 cm (2 to 5.1 inches), the scientists found. Yet the penis size-related boosts in attractiveness were found to diminish progressively for penises over 7.6 cm (3 inches) long. Penis width wasn’t studied as a separate factor, but rather was lumped together with length, as larger penises were shown as both wider and longer.
“Larger penis size had a greater effect on attractiveness for taller men” after controlling for the shoulder-to-hip ratio, the investigators wrote. This “could be because perceived penis size was smaller when assessed relative to the height of a taller man; or because of general discrimination against short men irrespective of the value of other traits, so that even a larger penis did little to increase their net attractiveness.”
.Culled from World-science.net