A recent study out of The University of Texas at Austin analyzed men’s mate preferences and found that men prefer a woman with a 45.5 degree curve from back to buttocks. Allegedly, this degree of curve signifies an ability to “better support, provide for, and carry out multiple pregnancies,” in addition to having a striking resemblance to Jennifer Lopez.
Before you toss off your panties and start rummaging around for your old protractor and compass, pretend that you actually want to know about the details of this research and keep reading, instead of measuring.
‘“What’s fascinating about this research is that it is yet another scientific illustration of a close fit between a sex-differentiated feature of human morphology – in this case lumbar curvature – and an evolved standard of attractiveness,” David Buss, a University of Texas at Austin psychology profess, and the study’s co-author, said in a press release distributed by the university. “This adds to a growing body of evidence that beauty is not entirely arbitrary, or ‘in the eyes of the beholder’ as many in mainstream social science believed, but rather has a coherent adaptive logic.”’
Let’s be very clear here. This statement, while admirably inclusive of a lot of extremely big words, is talking about butts. That’s the bottom line here, as it were.
In order to draw their conclusions, as well as to extend the time spent in measuring butts, researchers conducted two studies. In the first, one hundred men (who stood in line for days in the rain and snow in order to be part of the study) rated the attractiveness of several photos displaying spinal curves. The study found that most men were attracted to images of women having a 45.5 degree curve. About a third of the study participants (and half of the researchers) had to excuse themselves to go to the men’s room at some point during the photo viewing.
The research leads to two main questions:
Why do men have so little self-control? As researchers were not being paid to answer this question, it remained unanswered.
Why 45.5 degrees? “This spinal structure would have enabled pregnant women to balance their weight over the hips,” David Lewis, a psychologist at Bilkent University and an alumnus of University of Texas at Austin and lead researcher on this study, said in the press release. “These women would have been more effective at foraging during pregnancy and less likely to suffer spinal injuries. In turn, men who preferred these women would have had mates who were better able to provide for fetus and offspring, and who would have been able to carry out multiple pregnancies without injury.”
The second study addressed the reasoning as to why men preferred this curvy angle in women. Nearly 200 men participated in the second study. The number of participants doubled so as to accommodate the men who had been standing in line but didn’t get there early enough so as to make it into the first group.
The men were again asked to look at photographs of women but this time each women in the photos had different buttock size and different vertebral wedging but did maintain the 45.5 degree curve. The researchers found that men still preferred women who had a spinal curvature that was close to or at 45.5 degrees.
“This enabled us to conclusively show that men prefer women who exhibit specific angles of spinal curvature over buttock mass,” Eric Russell, a researcher at University of Texas at Arlington and a co-author on this study, said in the press release from University of Texas at Austin.
“This tight fit (Readers Note: These words were actually written in the article, as opposed to being another example of LBL’s adolescent penchant toward puns, especially when they are sex-related) between evolutionary pressures and modern humans’ psychology, including our standards of attractiveness, highlights the usefulness that an evolutionary approach can have for expanding our knowledge not just of the natural sciences, but also the social sciences,” Lewis added in the press release.
Once again, we have an intelligent, highly educated researcher using his big vocabulary as a way of making butt-obsession both socially acceptable and a vital part of research costing big bucks. This is what separates smart researchers from not-so-smart construction workers. Construction workers provide this service for free, and people get pissed off. Researchers get to oogle butts, then write about their observations in scientific journals and subsequently present their research at conferences, in which those scientists in attendance who are not rushing to the men’s room, are applauding wildly.
The next time you are the recipient of admiring language hurled in your direction from a construction site, know that you are most likely in possession of 45.5 degree spinal curvature from back to buttocks, and ask yourself the following questions: How did those construction workers know that from so far away, looking at you when you were fully clothed? And why isn’t research like that always conducted on the street, where it is free and plentiful and not costing an arm and a leg? And, in some cases, a butt.