Public Release: 

Stress makes men appreciate heavier women

PLOS

Increased stress in men is associated with a preference for heavier women, according to research published Aug. 8 in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

The researchers, led by Viren Swami of the University of Westminster in London, compared how stressed versus non-stressed men responded to pictures of female bodies varying from emaciated to obese. They found that the stressed group gave significantly higher ratings to the normal weight and overweight figures than the non-stressed group did, and that the stressed group generally had a broader range of figures they found attractive than the non-stressed group did. These results, the authors write, are consistent with the idea that people idealize mature morphological traits like heavier body size when they experience an environmental threat such as stress.

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Citation: Swami V, Tove´e MJ (2012) The Impact of Psychological Stress on Men's Judgements of Female Body Size. PLOS ONE 7(8): e42593. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0042593

Financial Disclosure: The authors have no support or funding to report.

Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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