Which face is more attractive?
If you chose the face on the left, you share the tastes of most heterosexual men. It is a composite face, or "morph", made from the faces of eight women with unusually small feet. The face on the right is a morph of eight women with unusually large feet.
It's quite a difference, isn't it? Women with smaller feet have prettier faces, at least according to the men who took part in this study. So do women with longer thigh bones and narrower hips.
Jeremy Atkinson, an evolutionary psychologist at the University at Albany, New York, and his colleagues measured hand length, foot length, thigh length and hip width on 60 white female college students. For each of 16 body-part measurements, he and his colleagues selected the eight women with the shortest lengths and the eight with the longest, and constructed morphs of their faces. These morphs were then rated for attractiveness by 77 heterosexual male students.
The men were three-and-a-half times as likely to pick the short-footed morph as more attractive, and almost 10 times as likely to say it was more feminine, Atkinson and his colleagues found. Similarly, they were more than 11 times as likely to pick the narrow-hipped morph as more attractive, and eight times as likely to choose the long-thighed morph.
Atkinson thinks men find these features attractive because they serve as markers of a healthy childhood. Biologists know that stress and poor nutrition during foetal development and puberty can affect sex hormone levels and cause earlier puberty.
This can leave such women relatively short and stout, while those with a more benign childhood continue growing for longer, and attain a slenderer, more stereotypically feminine face and body, which most men find more attractive.
earlier puberty ：早熟