Body symmetry and physical strength in human males

Am J Hum Biol. 2014 Sep-Oct;26(5):697-700. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.22584. Epub 2014 Jul 5.


Objectives: Body symmetry and physical strength in males have been related to aspects of mate "quality"-women seem to prefer men who display both "good genes" (as indexed by high symmetry/developmental health) and fighting ability (as indexed by physical strength). Here we show that fluctuating asymmetry (FA) of the body and physical strength are negatively correlated.

Methods: Body FA (from 12 paired traits) and handgrip strength (HGS; a measure of muscular power and force) were measured in a sample of 69 heterosexual, right-handed men (18-42 years).

Results: There were positive correlations of body symmetry with HGS after controlling for the effect of body-mass-index.

Conclusions: We conclude that in males, body symmetry and physical strength are correlated such that symmetric individuals tend to develop higher strength, which may contribute to their success in inter- and intra-sexual selection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry*
  • Hand Strength*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenotype*
  • United Kingdom
  • Young Adult