Are Men More Attracted to Tall Women with Small Feet?

New Scientist reported on a very interesting study that addressed issues of male and female attraction to people based on body part size such as height, foot size, wrist size and more. Instead of just showing research participants photos of people with large feet or small feet or what have you, they did something pretty interesting: they took photos of the faces of a bunch of women with small feet and then morphed them into an image representing a small-footed woman. They did the same with women with large feet, men with small wrists, men with large wrists, short women, short men, tall women, tall men, etc. Of course, they only used people on the extremes so a lot is left out given that many of us are in the middle (for example, I have tiny wrists, am taller than average but not tall, and have probably average sized feet).

In any case, the researchers found that men generally preferred the morphed photos of women who were tall, women who had narrow hips, women who had small feet and women who had long thigh bones.

Women? Not so pulled by body part sizes, it seems, which was explained by the long-standing idea that there’s a potential problem for women to be interested in masculine alpha-males who may offer good genes but not be as likely to be reliable, monogamous, I-can-count-on-you kind of partners.

I’m always interested in these types of studies as they give us clues to attraction but we always have to acknowledge that they’re not real world tests. Like me, many of you probably have varied body part sizes. And there are some masculine alpha males who are fantastic partners and some feminine men who are not so reliable or monogamous (and not all women and men want monogamy, too, which is another issue). There’s also more to attraction and sustaining relationships than body part sizes: Are you smart? Interesting enough that I want to stay up and talk with you into the night? Do you make me laugh – a lot? Is your smile the kind that makes me melt? How do you get along with my friends? Those things matter to women and men, too – often a great deal more than the size of their wrists or feet (at least I think so).

Read the full article over at New Scientist’s web site.

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About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.