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Thread: Curvy mothers have brainier kids

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    Quote Originally Posted by SubGnostic View Post
    The article was concerned with waist-hip ratio, Boche. Did you even bother to read the text before posting? Rather than just verbally maul the observations of the article, you could try to offer an alternative explanation for them.
    I read it, and i misunderstood it, like many do, as i wrote. That's why i said that they should have formulate it better.

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    Research focusing on the prefence of body shapes (waist-hip ratio examined):

    One clearly visible change in body form at puberty is the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). WHR is often recorded as an index of human fat deposition, calculated by dividing the circumference of the waist (at the narrowest point around the torso below the iliac crest) by the circumference of the hips (at the point of greatest protrusion of the buttocks). Sex differences in WHR are triggered by hormonal changes experienced during puberty: As boys reach puberty, increases in testosterone levels stimulate fat to be deposited in the abdominal region, while for girls, increases in estrogen stimulate fat to be deposited in the gluteo-femoral region (thighs and buttocks; see Kirschner & Samojilik, 1991). WHR has been found to increase with increasing levels of testosterone (Hauner, Ditschuneit, Pal, Moncayo, & Pfeiffer, 1988). In the Australian population, the average WHR for adult males ages 18 to 49 is 0.87; the average WHR for females of the same age is 0.77 (Abernethy, Olds, Eden, Neill, & Baines, 1996).

    Adult preferences for specific WHRs have been studied extensively (Furnham, Tan, & McManus, 1997; Henss, 1995; Singh, 1993a, 1993b, 1994a, 1994b, 1995; Singh & Luis, 1995; Singh & Young, 1995). Singh (1993a) presented White and Hispanic men in the U.S. with 12 cartoon images of identical women, differing only in their WHR and overall body weight. The WHRs ranged from 0.7 through to 1.0, with three weight categories: underweight, normal, and overweight. The men were asked to rank order the figures in terms of attractiveness and healthiness, along with other variables. The normal-weight figure with WHR 0.7 was judged to be the most attractive and healthy and to have the greatest desire and capability for having children. The underweight figure of WHR 0.7 was judged the most youthful, yet was also judged as having the lowest capability for having children. The preferences did not differ between the White and Hispanic men and were also found to be consistent across generations, with the only difference being that older men did not rate the underweight figures as highly as did the college-age men. Using photographs to assess preferences yielded the same results (Singh, 1994b).

    Singh (1993a) reasoned that WHR serves an adaptive function of indicating potential mate value. Because high WHR in women is related to several health risks, including cardiovascular disease, cholesterol levels, and diabetes, and low WHR is related to reproductive status and fertility (see Singh, 1993a, 1993b), male preference for low WHR in women is hypothesized to be an adaptive feature of mate selection. According to Singh (1993a), WHR may act as a first pass filter for selection of healthy and viable mates, with men who prefer low WHR increasing their chances of mating with healthy, viable females and thereby maximizing their chances of siring healthy offspring.
    Several replications and extensions of Singh's work on WHR have found cross-cultural consistency of ratings of body attractiveness, with Indonesian, Hispanic, British, Australian, and African-American populations also preferring the figures depicting the 0.7 WHR (Connolly, Mealey, & Slaughter, 2000; Furnham et al., 1997; Singh, 1994a; Singh & Luis, 1995). The cross-cultural consistency appears to be limited to Westernized societies, however, with non-Western-exposed indigenous cultures demonstrating a preference for the larger WHRs (Marlowe & Wetsman, 2001; Yu & Shepard, 1998) or exhibiting no differential preference based on WHR (Wetsman & Marlowe, 1999).
    Cashdan (2000, June) argues that in cultures where women perform physically demanding roles, such as participating in farming or food gathering, the strength that is consequent to relatively high testosterone/estrogen ratios will be valuable--and perhaps even invaluable in terms of survival of her children. She suggests that in such cultures a higher WHR would therefore be more valued and more attractive than the WHR most preferred by Westerners. This was, indeed, noted in Yu and Shepard's (1998) study: Yomybato and Shipetiari women of child-bearing age have high WHRs, and Yomybato men preferred the high WHR figures; the Shipetiari men also rated the high WHR figures as healthier, although they still found the low WHR figures more attractive. Preferences therefore may be influenced by culturally differential roles of women. Marlowe and Wetsman (2001) similarly argue that larger waist-to-hip ratios should be preferred in cultures where food is hard to come by, and high WHR indicates consistent access to calories.

    Going by this publication, it would seem that the studies of this field of research pay some attention to ethnicity/racial macrogroups (though it might be that discrimination applies only to distinct cultural environments).

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