What Women Want: Broad Shoulders, Big Cocks
A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found “size does matter” to women rating male sexual attractiveness. Asked to assess computer-generated male models who looked similar but varied in height, body type and penis size, women gave higher scores to tall men with broad shoulders and bigger cocks.
“We show that penis size actually is important on some level and, importantly, it interacts with other traits,” said lead researcher Brian Mautz, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Ottawa.
Though everyone's reporting on this study with snickering headlines about male members (my favorite has to be Gawker: “Science Proves Women Love a Big Ol’ D”), body type was actually most important in terms of who was perceived as hot or not.
To determine this, Mautz and team showed young Australian women life-size, computer generated images of naked men. They had similar hair and faces but different body types , heights and endowments; women were asked to rate each image on a scale of 1 to 7 for overall sexual attractiveness.
Wide shoulders and narrow hips were the biggest determinant of sexual attractiveness. This was followed by height and flaccid penis size, in equal measures.
Penis size had a stronger effect on attractiveness in taller men than in shorter men. There was a similar increase in the positive effect of penis size on attractiveness with a more masculine body shape (i.e., greater shoulder-to-hip ratio).
Mautz is a biologist, so his explanation calls on evolutionary factors. “Before clothing, the nonretractable human penis would have been conspicuous to potential mates,” note the researchers in the study abstract.
“Our results support the hypothesis that female mate choice could have driven the evolution of larger penises in humans. More broadly, our results show that precopulatory sexual selection can play a role in the evolution of genital traits.”