September 12, 2008

Men find women more attractive in the winter

... but the effect seems to be limited to their bodies, not their faces. The researchers' explanation is that during the summer, men are exposed to more women's bodies, and hence have "higher standards."

It'd be interesting to do a study comparing the relative attractiveness of women who met their spouses in the summer vs. winter.

Perception. 2008;37(7):1079-85.

Men's attraction to women's bodies changes seasonally.

Pawlowski B, Sorokowski P.

Humans exhibit seasonal variation in hormone levels, behaviour, and perception. Here we show that men's assessments of women's attractiveness change also seasonally. In five seasons (from winter 2004 to winter 2005) 114 heterosexual men were asked to assess the attractiveness of the same stimuli: photos of a female with three different waist-to-hip ratios; photos of female breasts, and photos of average-looking faces of young women. For each season, the scores given to the stimuli of the same category (body shape, breast, and face) were combined. Friedman's test revealed significant changes for body shape and breast attractiveness assessments across the seasons, but no changes for face ratings. The highest scores for attractiveness were given in winter and the lowest in summer. We suggest that the observed seasonality is related to the well-known 'contrast effect'. More frequent exposure to women's bodies in warmer seasons might increase men's attractiveness criteria for women's body shape and breasts.



Charles Iliya Krempeaux said...

My first reaction is that this is probably because, in the winter, girls are "more dressed"... and not so scantily clad.

Thus, since guys are "more deprived" in the winter, finally seeing some skin... any skin... gets us going a lot easier.

-- Charles Iliya Krempeaux

gortynios said...

I can give you another more logical explanation: in the winter, girls are more 'dressed', so guys can't see their girls are more attractive.

Dienekes said...

But, the same stimuli were used in the two seasons. It's not like they showed them dressed/non-dressed pics.

Crimson Guard said...

Yeah that could be.. or maybe its that the men probably want warmth on the cold, dark and stormie nights. Maybe its a primal thing?!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if females are perhaps paler in the winter (not so much sun) and that, therefore, they appear more attractive. Women are paler during ovulation -- perhaps the men in the experiment were "fooled" into thinking the winter/paler women were ovulating.

Dienekes said...

Once again: the same stimuli were used in the summer and winter, so the women weren't paler.