American anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan studied 37 types of female figures and discovered that lone women who have to financially support themselves and their children rarely have so called “pear” or “sand-clock” figure much preferred by men. Elizabeth Cashdan claims that figure types that are imperfect from the common point of view, may have its own advantages. There would be fewer women with “sand-clock” figures in the societies where they are pushed to be strong, independent and competitive.
According to medical studies, women with tempting body curves are less likely to suffer from sterility and chronic disorders Scientists say when men are choosing female partners they prefer women with 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio or less. Biologically, it’s quite reasonable because healthy and fertile woman will have healthy children.
Elizabeth Cashdan surprisingly discovered that, on average, today’s women have 0.8 waist-to-hip ratio. It doesn’t contradict the evolutionary logic at first sight, but scientists found the explanation. Androgens, testosterone in particular, promote fat deposits around the waist. It is a disadvantage, according to male common sexual expectations. But this hormone is crucial for the woman who has to financially support herself and her family. Another hormone, cortisol, also makes the figure cylindrical, but it increases our stress-resistance.
Interestingly, the situation in society changes male preferences, too. For example, in Greece, Portugal and Japan where women often depend on their husbands financially, men emphasize on a thin waist more than men from the UK and Denmark where men and women are practically equal in their rights. In some Third world countries where all family members have to work hard to survive, men prefer women with higher waist-to-hip ratio.
Well, maybe we don’t have to be that much disappointed that we can’t lose those inches off the waist?