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Do the Low WHRs and BMIs Judged Most Attractive Indicate Higher Fertility?:

Do the Low WHRs and BMIs Judged Most Attractive Indicate Higher Fertility?: We examine the widely accepted view that very low waist–hip ratios and low body mass indices (BMIs) in women in well-nourished populations are judged attractive by men because these features reliably indicate superior fertility. In both subsistence and well-nourished populations, relevant studies of fertility do not support this view. Rather studies indicate lower fertility in women with anthropometric values associated with high attractiveness. Moreover, low maternal BMI predisposes to conditions that compromise infant survival. Consistent with these findings from the literature, new data from a large U.S. sample of women past reproductive age show that women with lower BMIs in the late teens had fewer live births, controlling for education, marital history, and race. They also had later menarche and earlier menopause compared with women with higher youth BMIs. In addition, data from the 2013 U.S. natality database show that mothers with lower prepregnancy BMIs have an increased risk of producing both low-birth-weight and preterm infants controlling for other relevant variables—conditions that would have adversely affected fitness over almost all of human evolution. Thus, a review of the relevant literature and three new tests fail to support the view that highly attractive women are more fertile. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Evolutionary Psychology SAGE

Do the Low WHRs and BMIs Judged Most Attractive Indicate Higher Fertility?:

Do the Low WHRs and BMIs Judged Most Attractive Indicate Higher Fertility?:

Evolutionary Psychology , Volume 16 (4): 1 – Oct 8, 2018

Abstract

We examine the widely accepted view that very low waist–hip ratios and low body mass indices (BMIs) in women in well-nourished populations are judged attractive by men because these features reliably indicate superior fertility. In both subsistence and well-nourished populations, relevant studies of fertility do not support this view. Rather studies indicate lower fertility in women with anthropometric values associated with high attractiveness. Moreover, low maternal BMI predisposes to conditions that compromise infant survival. Consistent with these findings from the literature, new data from a large U.S. sample of women past reproductive age show that women with lower BMIs in the late teens had fewer live births, controlling for education, marital history, and race. They also had later menarche and earlier menopause compared with women with higher youth BMIs. In addition, data from the 2013 U.S. natality database show that mothers with lower prepregnancy BMIs have an increased risk of producing both low-birth-weight and preterm infants controlling for other relevant variables—conditions that would have adversely affected fitness over almost all of human evolution. Thus, a review of the relevant literature and three new tests fail to support the view that highly attractive women are more fertile.

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © 2022 by SAGE Publications Inc., unless otherwise noted. Manuscript content on this site is licensed under Creative Commons Licenses
ISSN
1474-7049
eISSN
1474-7049
DOI
10.1177/1474704918800063
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We examine the widely accepted view that very low waist–hip ratios and low body mass indices (BMIs) in women in well-nourished populations are judged attractive by men because these features reliably indicate superior fertility. In both subsistence and well-nourished populations, relevant studies of fertility do not support this view. Rather studies indicate lower fertility in women with anthropometric values associated with high attractiveness. Moreover, low maternal BMI predisposes to conditions that compromise infant survival. Consistent with these findings from the literature, new data from a large U.S. sample of women past reproductive age show that women with lower BMIs in the late teens had fewer live births, controlling for education, marital history, and race. They also had later menarche and earlier menopause compared with women with higher youth BMIs. In addition, data from the 2013 U.S. natality database show that mothers with lower prepregnancy BMIs have an increased risk of producing both low-birth-weight and preterm infants controlling for other relevant variables—conditions that would have adversely affected fitness over almost all of human evolution. Thus, a review of the relevant literature and three new tests fail to support the view that highly attractive women are more fertile.

Journal

Evolutionary PsychologySAGE

Published: Oct 8, 2018

Keywords: waist–hip ratio; waist circumference; body mass index; health; fertility; nubility

References