Oliver James, writing in The Guardian, draws attention to research that investigates the connection between achievement and thinness in women. Studies have shown that a female preference for smaller breasts and buttocks when viewing female silhouettes is associated with ‘masculine’ careers and greater academic achievement. Could this be partly because women with a curvy shape are perceived, on average, to be less competent and less intelligent?
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The assertion of the article that ‘career women’ strive for more masculine figures is highly speculative. After all, a thin figure might simply be the result of avoiding a curvy figure, rather than the striving for a ‘masculine’ ideal. Other claims that female emancipation is historically associated with a slighter silhouette might be a coincidence. Nevertheless, there’s some interesting circumstantial evidence here.