Eye fixations indicate men's preference for female breasts or buttocks

Arch Sex Behav. 2012 Aug;41(4):929-37. doi: 10.1007/s10508-012-9945-3. Epub 2012 May 3.


Evolutionary psychologists have been interested in male preferences for particular female traits that are thought to signal health and reproductive potential. While the majority of studies have focused on what makes specific body traits attractive-such as the waist-to-hip ratio, the body mass index, and breasts shape and size-there is little empirical research that has examined individual differences in male preferences for specific traits (e.g., favoring breasts over buttocks). The current study begins to fill this empirical gap. In the first experiment (Study 1), 184 male participants were asked to report their preference between breasts and buttocks on a continuous scale. We found that (1) the distribution of preference was bimodal, indicating that Argentinean males tended to define themselves as favoring breasts or buttocks but rarely thinking that these traits contributed equally to their choice and (2) the distribution was biased towards buttocks. In a second experiment (Study 2), 19 male participants were asked to rate pictures of female breasts and buttocks. This study was necessary to generate three categories of pictures with statistically different ratings (high, medium, and low). In a third experiment (Study 3), we recorded eye-movements of 25 male participants while they chose the more attractive between two women, only seeing their breasts and buttock. We found that the first and last fixations were systematically directed towards the self-reported preferred trait.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Beauty*
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Female
  • Human Body*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Waist-Hip Ratio