Men’s fascination with women’s bottoms is far from a fad, say a team of US researchers. Science can explain why men and women find certain physical features more attractive than others, they believe. They set out to prove that curvy rear ends are no exception. And they claim to have discovered a previously unknown standard of female sexiness: the 45-degree curve.
They began by rounding up 300 men. In two different studies the men were shown images of female silhouettes. The women in the images looked the same except for one important difference: the size and curviness of their bottoms. Were guys more attracted to the women with curvy, big butts, the researchers wanted to know?
I like big butts and I cannot lie?
Men prefer women with curves, though bigger is not necessarily better, the results showed. In fact, it wasn’t the biggest bottoms that these men found the most attractive.
Instead, it’s the curve from a woman’s lower back to her buttocks that’s where it’s at. A derriere that protrudes at an angle of 45 degrees is seen as ideal, regardless of how big the woman’s behind is, the study found.
Why do guys dig women with back-to-butt curves of 45 degrees? It all began with ancestral women and men, say the researchers. Back in prehistoric times, pregnant women with the right curves would have had an easier time foraging for food for their kids, say the study’s researchers.
Baby got back
The secret to the curve is the third-to-last vertebra: in women it’s more wedge-shaped, which allows the lower back to bend more. This bend at the bottom of the spine helps a pregnant woman shift the extra weight over her hips, making movement easier and reducing backache. Just the right amount of wedging, and the bottom-profile gets that sexy, curvy look!
(See illustration: woman b on the right has more wedge-shaped lower vertebrae, creating a sexier curve.)
Ancestral guys who were into these women would have had a better chance of passing on their genes in healthy kids, the researchers say. Fast forward thousands of years, and that explains how men evolved a preference for women with just the right backside curves.
However, there’s another way of looking at sexual selection in evolutionary terms. The things that make us sexy don’t have to be of any use to us – except that they help us attract a good mate and make babies.
A curvy-bottomed woman inherits the genes for curviness from her curvy-bottomed mother, and passes them on to her curvy-bottomed daughters. But she also inherits her father's genes for fancying curvy bottoms, which she passes on to her bottom-fancying sons.
Of course, the woman’s children also get half their genes from her mate. And he has not only inherited his dad’s eye for extra bottom curve, but he also carries his mum’s genes for producing extra bottom curve, which he will also pass on to his daughter.
So the genes for curvy bottoms and for preferring curvy bottoms go together. And possessing a sexy bottom is likely to help a women have her pick of the finest mates – and thus successfully raise more round-reared or bottom-loving offspring.
Of course this process applies to the whole package of features that make people sexually attractive, not just backsides. Hey, there’s more to a girl than just a twerkable bottom – or indeed, a wedge-shaped third-to-last vertebra.
Source: Lumbar curvature: a previously undiscovered standard of attractiveness, David M.G. Lewis, Eric M. Russell, Laith Al-Shawaf, David M. Buss
On sexual selection: The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins
What makes a bottom sexy? Leave a comment below or on Facebook.