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Breast Size Preferences May Reveal Men's Attitudes Toward Women

Update Date: Mar 15, 2013 03:54 PM EDT
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Sexist men are more likely to prefer women with bigger breasts, according to a new study.

A new study published February in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior found that the more oppressive attitudes a man has towards women, the more likely he is to prefer bustier women. 

The latest study consisted of 361 white heterosexual British men aged 18 to 68 who were asked to look at five 3D models of virtual women before determining which one they found that most attractive.  The pictures used in the study were all identical except for the models' breast sizes.  

Researchers noted that previous eye-tracking studies revealed that when presented with a front-facing image of a woman, men generally spent more time observing the breasts and upper body than any other part. 

Researchers Viren Swami from the University of Westminster and Martin Tovée from Newcastle University found that most or 32.7 percent of men in the study found the middle image, or the medium-busted women, to be the most physically attractive.  The study also revealed that 24.4 percent of men preferred large breasts, 19.1 percent preferred very large breasts, 15.5 percent chose small breasts and only 8.3 percent chose very small breasts.

Afterwards, the men were asked to complete questionnaire that determined their attitudes toward women. The questionnaire examined the men's general attitudes, hostile and benevolent sexism towards women. Benevolent sexism is seemingly positive female stereotypes that may actually be damaging to gender equality.

The study revealed that the preference for larger breasts was significantly linked to hostile sexism, benevolent sexism and female objectification.

"Our results showed that a greater likelihood of rating a larger breast size as physically attractive was predicted by men's oppressive beliefs," the researchers wrote.

"Specifically, we found that men who more strongly endorsed benevolently sexist attitudes toward women, who more strongly objectified women, and who were more hostile toward women idealized a large female breast size," they explained. "Broadly speaking, the present results were consistent with previous studies indicating that men's oppressive beliefs are associated with their attractiveness ideals for women."

This is not the first study to link male ideals of female beauty with oppressive, sexist beliefs.

Past studies revealed that men who were more sexist were also more likely to feel like it was important for women to be thin, wear make up and be shorter than their male partners. However, researchers say the latest study is the first to examine the link between breast size ideals and sexist beliefs in men.

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