Research Says Men Stare at Each Other’s Chests a Lot and Women Don’t Care

Shoulder-to-hip ratio is the new waist-to-hip ratio

Some chest hair might get our attention one way or the other, but otherwise we're just not that interested.

One of the various numerical systems society has developed in an attempt to prop up sexist beauty standards about women’s bodies with faux science is a handy little thing called waist-to-hip ratio. Time and again, study after study has “proven” that men tend to prefer women with a low waist-to-hip ratio — small waist and broad hips — and it’s okay because it’s just science. Men, as fellow bearers of waists and hips, have waist-to-hip ratios too, but you hear about them less often because rappers don’t rattle off “ideal” men’s body measurements in popular music with the same frequency with which we hear about “36-24-36.”

Anyway, because we’ve apparently exhausted scientific inquiries into waist-to-hip ratio, a new study has taken it upon itself to investigate a new mathematical equation to which we can subject the human body: shoulder-to-hip ratio.

Recent research published in Evolutionary Psychological Science investigates gender distinctions between shoulder-to-hip ratio and its effect on perceptions of attractiveness. According to the study, a higher shoulder-to-hip ratio is commonly associated with “cues to masculinity, strength, and formidability.” However, the researchers wrote in the study’s abstract, “while women’s shoulder width varies from one individual to another, to our knowledge no previous study has investigated perceived attractiveness and eye movement in relation to women’s SHR.” Because god forbid we leave any aspect of women’s bodies ungoverned by mathematically calculated laws of attractiveness.

Ultimately, the researchers arrived at the unsurprising conclusion that men tend to prefer “more masculine,” ratios, indicating larger upper body size, in other men, and “less masculine,” ratios, indicating smaller upper body size, in women. Women, meanwhile, didn’t really show the same strong preferences, preferring an “intermediate” ratio for both men and women.

One semi-interesting takeaway? The study tracked participants’ eye movements and found that men tended to linger longer on other men’s chests, while women really couldn’t be bothered.

The point is, literally none of this matters at all. But if you’re a man looking to build up your chest, that’s still good for you and for your fellow men. Women just won’t particularly notice or care.

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