Scientists love to investigate attractiveness and evolution, and really, it makes sense – who doesn’t want to read about how our forebears chose their partners and how this impacts on modern day dating?
The latest insight comes from an investigation into women’s spines – and buttocks – and why men may be more attracted to a certain degree tilt of vertebrae (really).
Previous research has shown that wider hips are seen as more attractive because of the link to easier childbirth (in the days before the miracles of medicine). Now the tilt of a woman’s spine can potentially be thrown into the same basket – due to how it determines how a woman carries her pregnancy.
“This spinal structure would have enabled pregnant women to balance their weight over the hips,” Bilkent University psychologist David Lewis, who led the study, said in a statement.
“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 particular area of focus for the researchers was where the spine attaches to the buttocks (“vertebral wedging”), hoping to prove that a curve of 45.5 degrees between the two would be more attractive than a curve larger or smaller than this (due to the effect on pregnancy, and also because this angle would have helped our forebears stay mobile throughout their pregnancies). 200 men were shown images of varying spinal tilts and asked to state which they found more attractive, and the result was fairly close to what researchers had predicted.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?) there’s not a lot at the gym you can do for your “vertebral wedging” so you’re just going to have to accept the way your spine fits together as it is.