Evolutionary psychologists at Bilkent University in Turkey claim to have discovered the reason that men love big butts, and their published research is creating more than a little controversy.
The study published in Science Direct claims that men are attracted to bubble butts because the curvature suggests an evolutionary advantage at foraging for food:
This paper reports independent studies supporting the proposal that human standards of attractiveness reflect the output of psychological adaptations to detect fitness-relevant traits. We tested novel a priori hypotheses based on an adaptive problem uniquely faced by ancestral hominin females: a forward-shifted center of mass during pregnancy. The hominin female spine possesses evolved morphology to deal with this adaptive challenge: wedging in the third-to-last lumbar vertebra. Among ancestral women, vertebral wedging would have minimized the net fitness threats posed by hypolordosis and hyperlordosis, thereby creating selective pressures on men to prefer such women as mates. On this basis, we hypothesized that men possess evolved mate preferences for women with this theoretically optimal angle of lumbar curvature.
So onion booty = great at harvesting onions. Got it.
I’ve often found evolutionary psychology to be a complete load of garbage. For instance, evolutionary psychologists claim that men like blonde chicks because during the Paleolithic Era men were outnumbered by women and the blondes stood out. Right, men like blondes because cave men were outnumbered by cave women. That makes perfect sense.
The Daily Mail had more to add on this ‘big fat butt’ theory:
Researchers have discovered that men are particularly attracted to women with a back that curves 45 degrees above the top of her bottom.
Such an angle would have given a woman an advantage while pregnant in early hunter-gatherer societies and so has evolved as being seen as attractive around the world, they claim.
The scientists found that extra mass around the buttocks could often enhance the curvature of a woman’s spine.
However, the researchers also found that a physical curvature of the spine – known as vertebral wedging – was seen as more attractive than extra buttock mass.
Dr David Lewis, a psychologist at Bilkent University in Turkey, said: ‘It’s an independent and previously undiscovered standard of attractiveness.
‘(The curve) would have enabled ancestral women to shift their centre of mass back over their hips during pregnancy, a time during which there is a dramatic forward shift of their centre of mass.
‘This benefit is critical: without being able to do this, women would experience a dramatic increase in hip torque (pressure) subjecting them to risk of muscular fatigue and injury.
‘Consequently, ancestral women who possessed this degree of lumbar curvature would have been able to forage longer into pregnancy and would have been able to carry out multiple pregnancies with a reduced risk of spinal injury.’
I didn’t take part in this study so I can’t say for certain what the stimuli used was, but I can say for certain that I’ve never looked at a woman and thought ‘daaaaaamn, look at that spine curve!’ That’s not a thing that men notice, or any human notices, unless a person has a serious spine deformity.
It’s now time that I call ‘shenanigans!’ on this study and we all go back to our regularly scheduled programming…But not before at least one glorious butt GIF:
[The Daily Mail via Science Direct]