Whenever you hear the words “a new study shows,’ you know the findings by some credible scientist must be true, right? Well, two recent studies have revealed some more shocking information about how the male anatomy works and the results… well, they probably won’t shock you. But the World Wide Interweb has more:
The first study investigated whether men’s access to resources, or, more technically, their “resource security,” would influence their preferences for chest size in women. One view on human female chest size is that it may act as a signal of fat reserves, which in turn advertises access to resources. Anchored in this understanding, psychologists Viren Swami and Martin Tovée carried out two experiments to test whether men experiencing relative resource insecurity (that is, those who lack material goods) would find larger breasts more desirable than men experiencing resource security (those who have material goods).
The first experiment explored the relationship between financial security and men’s preferences in chest size. The authors recruited 266 men from three sites in Malaysia that varied in socioeconomic status (low, medium, and high). These participants were shown a series of five animated female figures that varied only in terms of chest size, and then rated them for physical attractiveness on a five-point scale. What did the researchers find? The men from the low socioeconomic background rated bigger breasts as more attractive than did men from the medium socioeconomic background, who in turn endorsed larger breasts as more appealing than men from the high socioeconomic background. In other words, poorer men liked larger breasts.
In the second experiment, the researchers compared the chest size ratings of 66 hungry versus 58 satiated male university students to test whether food security impacted their preferences. These men were asked to participate in the study as they entered or exited campus dining halls during dinner, from approximately 6:00 to 7:00 pm. (Because ethnicity is known to influence chest size preferences, the investigators invited only white British men to participate in this study). They were subsequently presented with the same animated series of female figures that was used in the previous experiment. The researchers then crunched the numbers. What did the results reveal? The hungry men preferred bigger breasts substantially more than the satiated group.
The second study was based on alternate evolutionary perspective on chest size, which maintains that it is a signal of a woman’s capacity to bear and nurture children. Indeed, there is a positive association between levels of estradiol, a fertility-related hormone, and larger chest size; in turn, the combination of larger breasts and a smaller waist-to-hip ratio seems to be linked to a significantly greater likelihood of conceiving. From here, researchers Christopher Burris and Armand Munteanu reasoned that men who are less willing to become a father would also find larger breasts less appealing.