NCBI ROFL: Eye Tracking of Men's Preferences for Female Breast Size and Areola Pigmentation.

By ncbi rofl | February 26, 2010 10:32 pm

4099983224_525b89fc06“Sexual selection via male mate choice has often been implicated in the evolution of permanently enlarged breasts in women. While questionnaire studies have shown that men find female breasts visually attractive, there is very little information about how they make such visual judgments. In this study, we used eye-tracking technology to test two hypotheses: (1) that larger breasts should receive the greatest number of visual fixations and longest dwell times, as well as being rated as most attractive; (2) that lightly pigmented areolae, indicative of youth and nubility, should receive most visual attention and be rated as most attractive. Results showed that men rated images with medium-sized or large breasts as significantly more attractive than small breasts. Images with dark and medium areolar pigmentation were rated as more attractive than images with light areolae. However, variations in breast size had no significant effect on eye-tracking measures (initial visual fixations, number of fixations, and dwell times). The majority of initial fixations during eye-tracking tests were on the areolae. However, areolar pigmentation did not affect measures of visual attention. While these results demonstrate that cues indicative of female sexual maturity (large breasts and dark areolae) are more attractive to men, patterns of eye movements did not differ based on breast size or areolar pigmentation. We conclude that areolar pigmentation, as well as breast size, plays a significant role in men’s judgments of female attractiveness. However, fine-grained measures of men’s visual attention to these morphological traits do not correlate, in a simplistic way, with their attractiveness judgments.”


Photo: flickr/stevendepolo

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  • sarasota

    What a shock, “breast size plays a significant role in men’s judgment of female attractiveness.” Guess what, ladies: Wallet size plays a significant role in women’s judgement of male attractiveness. Can one of the scientists please explain to me why sexual selection via female mate choice hasn’t resulted in the evolution of permanently enlarged wallets in men?

  • sarasota

    Ha, ha.

  • andy

    My wallet is enlarged. Oh wait, that’s my prostate.

  • John

    @sarasota: Pretty simple, Female’s main priority is her safety and secured future. Bigger wallets does partly ensure that. For males, main priority is healthy kids which is secured by having sex with big-breasted women (more milk), but that is visual and not true..small breasts have enough milk as well…perhaps more breasts = more fun!

  • Joanna Cake

    So where is the research that studies what a woman is looking for in a man to give her that safe and secure future?

    An awful lot of us seem to be getting it wrong and, judging by all the wealthy sportsmen in the frame for infidelity recently, it would seem that a large wallet combined with physical prowess does not necessarily equate to a secure future.

  • JakeR

    My preference is for small, perky breasts. No, I don’t find large breasts attractive. As a friend once put it, in the first Lara Croft film Angelina Jolie’s breasts in the “loping downstairs” scene resemble two elephants wrestling under a circus tent. That is, they’re comical, rather than sensual. Different strokes.

    Joanna Cake at 5 should see additional recent research on the subject, particularly the finding that in economically secure Western societies women prefer less-masculine-looking, perceptually safer and more monogamous, men. She should also note that Mr. Woods’s wife and paramours possess larger breasts and that he promised the paramours little or nothing, despite the huge economic gap. His fame is the attraction, as evidenced by the paramours’ publicity-seeking since he was outed.

  • Crow

    They might expand the study to the effect of “perceived nipple awareness through tight fitting sweaters.” I’ll bet there’s a positive correlation between the degree of shadow cast from enlarged nipples upon the outer sweater surface and attention fixation.

  • dave chamberlin

    she enlarged her breasts for me
    I beheld her new monsters with glee
    but when I gave them a suck
    I got silicone muck
    and me lawyers say it should have been free

    Ok, it’s silly, hope I didn’t offend anyone. 45 of the 50 contestants at the miss America Pageant had breast implants. Remember that some of the first sculptures of humans were obese women with almost no head and ridiculous oversized sexual organs. Some things never change.


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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