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October 17

Dow down, hip-to-waist ratio up

Filed under: News,Psychology,Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 3:00 pm

Someone’s been reading academic journals for the articles! Marginal Revolution draws our attention to an article in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin entitled, no kidding, “Playboy Playmate Curves: Changes in Facial and Body Feature Preferences Across Social and Economic Conditions,” which posits that in lean times, men go for, well, lean women. In other words:”The Environmental Security Hypothesis says that in tough times men will prefer women who are good at production, generally older, taller, heavier, less curvaceous women with less body fat.  In good times, they will prefer women who are good at reproduction, generally younger, shorter, lighter, more curvaceous women.  Pettijohn and and Jungeberg look at the characteristics of playboy playmates from 1960 to 2000 and find:

Consistent with Environmental Security Hypothesis predictions, when social and economic conditions were difficult, older, heavier, taller Playboy Playmates of the Year with larger waists, smaller eyes, larger waist-to-hip ratios, smaller bust-to-waist ratios, and smaller body mass index values were selected. These results suggest that environmental security may influence perceptions and preferences for women with certain body and facial features. 

It’s not a new study, but it does invite speculation about what type of Playmate of the Year a 2009 economy will bring us. If things keep going the way they are now, my money’s on Rosie the Riveter.

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