Aussie survey to find the rules of attraction

Australian scientists are asking people to rate different body shapes in an online survey in the hope of understanding how the rules of attraction have helped shape the human race.

The online study has drawn almost 50,000 participants worldwide in its first four months and is already offering some key insights into what, in particular, makes an attractive woman.

"We've had a few androgynous-type shapes and they haven't lasted very long," lead researcher Rob Brooks told AFP. "You need to have a certain amount of curvaceousness, a certain amount of body fat."

The extremely overweight and underweight were consistently rejected, he said, adding that proportion was everything.

"You can't simply say a narrow waist is more attractive, or a large bust or large biceps are more attractive, it really depends whether those things fit with the rest of the structure of the body," he said.

The Sydney-based study asks participants to rate the attractiveness of 120 bodies ranging from very thin to very overweight, and the most popular half are then "mated" using computer simulations to tweak their appearance.

"What the people are doing by rating the bodies is they are acting the equivalent to natural selection," said Brooks.

Heterosexual men have most enthusiastically embraced the survey, meaning the research was now up to its fourth generation of women, and only second of men.

The grey computer bodies have been stripped of hair, clothes or any other cultural or other identifiers.

Participants in the survey have to volunteer a range of information about themselves, including their nationality, ethnic origin and sexual orientation.

Brooks hopes cross-referencing the data will allow him to draw conclusions about the impact of socio-economic status, sexuality and culture on ideas of attractiveness.

"There's an idea out there, for example, that in countries where a high proportion of people are not getting enough to eat, being overweight may be more attractive than it is in countries where they have escaped from hunger and where obesity's a bigger problem," he explained.

He also hopes to challenge the notion that the Western media was "constructing preferences or tastes in some kind of sinister way."

"We should be able to test that by looking at folks from countries with different media traditions and seeing if they have different tastes or not," Brooks said.

ajc/apj/aad

 

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Graduate Pricing Analyst - 6 months / 1 year analytical experience

    £20000 - £25000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

    Senior Management Accountant

    £40000 - £46000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Global publishing and digital bu...

    Year 2 Teachers needed for day to day supply

    £110 - £130 per day + Competitve rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Yea...

    Year 4 Teachers needed for day to day supply across the region

    £110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits