Boob man or butt man? Men’s personality and preferences in female body shape

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Can you infer a man’s personality based on whether he prefers certain parts of a woman’s body to be larger or smaller? Believe in or not, some researchers have attempted to uncover the difference between “boob men” and “ass men.”

Back in 1968, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published a study that investigated the relationship between a man’s personality and his preference for certain female body shapes.

The study was conducted by Jerry S. Wiggins, Nancy Wiggins, and Judith Cohen Conger of the University of Illinois.

In the study, Wiggins and his colleagues recruited 95 male undergraduate college students from a psychology course. These students were shown a series of 105 pairs of nude female silhouettes and “required to indicate which of the two figures they preferred.”

The silhouettes were based on a standard figure, but all had variations in the size of their breasts, buttocks, and legs. “Each of the three dimensions could assume the value of the standard (0), or could be moderately large (+1), large (+2), moderately small (-1), or small (-2),” as Wiggins and his colleagues explained.

After rating the 105 pairs of silhouettes, the participants in the study were asked to return again in two weeks to participant in a second unrelated study. During this second study, the participants completed a number of questionnaires to assess their personality traits and life goals.

The purpose of the study, as Wiggins and his colleagues explain, was to test the common belief that the “preference for specific body parts is associated with personality and background characteristics,” noting that men often refer to themselves as “breast men” or “ass men.”

According to Wiggins and his colleagues, preference for the figure with large breasts, large buttocks, and large legs “was associated with a need for achievement” while those who preferred the figure with small breasts, buttocks, and legs were “not cynical about authority and reported coming from an upper-class background.” Preference for the standard figure “was associated with heterosexuality and a tendency to be disorganized in personal habits.”

Wiggins and his colleagues also examined the differences between preferences for individual body parts, finding that those who preferred large breasts tended to be nonnurturant and independent while those who preferred small breasts tended to be religious fundamentalists, mildly depressed, and nurturant.

Differences were also found between those who preferred large and small buttocks. According to Wiggins and his colleagues, those that preferred large buttocks were “characterized by a need for order” while those who preferred small buttocks tended to “persevere in the completion of their work” and did “not feel the need to be the center of attention.”

Since the study examined a relatively small number of male college students in the late 1960’s, the results probably cannot be extrapolated very well — but the study still has great entertainment value.



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