Sexual Selection of the Hourglass Body


  • Sohana Farhin McMaster University Department of PNB


She’s got a body like an hourglass. From obsessing over Marilyn Monroe’s curves to buying waist trainers advertised by Kim Kardashian, society’s fixation on an hourglass silhouette is ubiquitous. What makes the hourglass body more desirable than other body types is its low waist to hip ratio (WHR). The WHR, a proxy for body fat distribution, measures the narrowest part of the waist to the widest part of the hips (Singh, 1993). Although societal standards of the ideal body have fluctuated across time, the preference for a low WHR remains unchanged (Singh, 1993). Evolutionary psychologists suggest this unchanging preference is not due to culture, but biology. WHR has biological consequences on a woman’s fertility. WHR predicts a woman’s attractiveness.





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