Does Exposure Of Women To Larger Men Make Them Appear More Attractive?

sharma-obesity-strongmanBeauty is in the eye of the beholder – but how is this eye influenced by cultural norms and familiarity?

This interesting question was the topic of an intriguing study by Eric Robinson and Paul Christiansen from the University of Liverpool, published in the International Journal of Obesity who examined whether women’s preferences for larger men can be influenced by prior exposure.

The researchers conducted a series of four studies. Studies 1 and 2 looked at how exposure to men with obesity vs. normal weight had on female attraction toward a man with overweight. The findings of these two study showed that exposure to obesity can alter visual perceptions of what normal body weights were resulting  in greater attraction toward an overweight man.

Study 3 found that women who are regularly exposed to males of heavier body weights reported a greater attraction toward overweight men.

Study 4 showed that after exposure to  images of men with overweight or obesity, females in an online dating study were more likely to choose to date an overweight man than a man of normal weight (Study 4).

Thus the researchers conclude that even brief exposure to men with obesity can increases female attraction toward overweight men and may affect mate choice.

However, as the researchers note, the findings are limited to single women rating caucasian males – whether exposure to women with overweight has a similar effect on male preferences remains to be studied.

Perhaps the results of this study can lead to the following dating advice – if you’re a big man, surrounding yourself with people of your size may just make you seem more attractive.

Edmonton, AB