A slight arching of a woman’s back — extending her buttocks outward — makes her more alluring, research finds.
It might help to explain the mystery of why high-heeled shoes are so popular.
They cause women to arch their backs slightly to help them balance.
The study found that only relatively small changes in how much a woman’s back was arched made her look more appealing.
Mr Farid Pazhoohi, who led the study, said:
“Increased curvature increases the perception of attractiveness.”
Both men and women looking at the 3D models used in the study were found to focus their attention on the rear of the models, eye-tracking revealed.
Below, the image on the right shows an arched back.
When men and women looked at the back and side views the effect of increased attractiveness was particularly pronounced.
Mr Pazhoohi said:
“The latter highlights the unique influence of an arched back on the perception of attractiveness.
The perception of attractiveness and visual attention to the hip region suggests that lordosis or the arching of the back might signal human females’ proceptivity or willingness to be courted.
This also might explain why women wear high heel shoes and why wearing high heel shoes increases womens’ attractiveness.”
Animals such as sheep, cats, ferrets and primates adopt this curved posture, presenting the rear, to signal that they are ready to mate.
It seems that it is also an unconscious signal in humans.
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 study was published in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science (Pazhoohi et al., 2017).