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Men's Oppresive Beliefs Predict Their Breast Size Preferences in Women

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Martin Tovee


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Previous studies of men’s breast size preferences have returned equivocal findings, with studies variously indicating a preference for small, medium, or large breasts. Here, we examined the impact of men’s patriarchal and oppressive beliefs in shaping their female breast size ideals. British White men from the community in London, England (N = 361) viewed figures of women that were rotated in 360º and varied in breast size along five levels. They then rated the figure that they found most physically attractive and also completed measures assessing their sexist attitudes and tendency to objectify women. Results showed that medium breasts were rated most frequent as attractive (32.7%), followed by large (24.4%) and very large (19.1%) breasts. Further analyses showed that men’s preferences for larger female breasts were significantly associated with a greater tendency to be benevolently sexist, to objectify women, and to be hostile towards women. These results are discussed in relation to feminist theories, which postulate that beauty ideals and practices in contemporary societies serve to maintain the domination of one sex over the other.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Swami V, Tovée MJ

Publication type: Article

Journal: Archives of Sexual Behavior

Year: 2013

Volume: 42

Issue: 7

Pages: 1199-1207

Print publication date: 15/02/2013

ISSN (print): 0004-0002

ISSN (electronic): 1573-2800

Publisher: Springer New York LLC


DOI: 10.1007/s10508-013-0081-5


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