When men get into stressful situations, larger women seem to be more attractive to then than slimmer women. This is the conclusion of British researchers in London and Newcastle.
They also found that men who were given the task designed to cause them stress, expressed preference for a wider range of female figures.
Based on this, the researchers concluded that stress can change the selection criteria for potential partners. "There are a lot of articles that say that our preference of people with a certain body mass index (BMI) is firmly "mounted" in the mind, but it is possible that it is not so," – said one of the study’s authors, Martin Tovey at Newcastle University.
Tovey and his colleague Viren have studied the question of what factors can change the people’s preference of a certain type of figure. Among these factors are called, in particular, the attraction and the impact of the media.
But in this latest study, they set a goal to find out whether the same preferences of various bodily forms in normal circumstances are the same with situations where people are under stress.
"With the shortage of food, people change their views on the size of the potential partner. Turns out that in such situations, more of them prefer larger partners – in contrast to the conditions when people have enough food and life is more relaxed," – said Martin Tovey.
"But if a man does not have an easy life and he literally has to fight for survival, he is under great stress," – he added.
In order to create a stressful situation, a group of men had to go through an interview and speech assignment. Then they were invited to express their preferences for the shape of the potential partner, who later compared with the choice of a control group of men who were not stressed.
The results showed that the changes have led to a shift in terms of a bias towards larger women, and also to the fact that men expressed preference for a wider range of the female form.