NCBI ROFL: Sex differences in relative foot length and perceived attractiveness of female feet.

By ncbi rofl | November 29, 2010 7:00 pm

shoeSex differences in relative foot length and perceived attractiveness of female feet: relationships among anthropometry, physique, and preference ratings.

“Foot size proportionate to stature is smaller in women than in men, and small feet apparently contribute to perceived physical attractiveness of females. This exploratory study investigated the sex difference in relative foot length and interrelations among foot length, physique, and foot preference ratings in samples from Austria and Canada, each comprised of 75 men and 75 women. The findings included the following lines of evidence: the sex difference in relative foot length replicated in both data sets; the magnitude of this sex effect was large. Relative foot length was smaller in young, nulliparous, and slim women. Pointed-toe and high-heel shoes were more likely worn by smaller, lighter, and slimmer women. Men reported liking women’s feet in general more than vice versa. A vast majority of both men and women favored small feet in women, but large feet in men. One’s own foot size appeared to correspond to evaluations of attractiveness; particularly, women with small feet preferred small feet in women in general. The preference for small feet in women was convergent across different methods of evaluating attractiveness. Directions for investigations in this emerging field of research on physical attractiveness are discussed.”


Photo: flickr/dichohecho

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  • ChH

    Hey – I bet you could make women even more attractive by tightly wrapping their feet as young girls so four of their toes grow under the balls of their feet and they end up with really small deformed looking feet!

    Oh wait

  • Lucide

    I have really small feet compared to my stature. Both my feet and hands appear baby like and although big enough to be acceptable and not weird, its still relatively small compared even to people shorter or smaller than me.

    But I think it runs in the genes too. My father’s mother and sister has small feet and hands compared to their stature as well. I am Chinese and my father’s ancestry can be traced back to ancient magistrates and hence it is entirely and highly possible that they used to have bound feet and valued small hands too. My grandmother said her mother used still to bind her feet when she was a child but fashion changed along the way and so she didn’t get deformed feet. I saw my greatgrandmother’s feet too, before she passed. She had a deep arch, but it was probably as deformed as the feet of women who wear really high heels often.

  • Kate

    Seriously, Austria and Canada? Is that supposed to be a cross-cultural sample? I hope they didn’t extrapolate this to all humans.

  • laura

    foot fetish is very widespread but people are reluctant to let others know it. small feet are preferred by vast majority of people, it just looks feminine. if you think that feet aren’t attractive to people, you should think why heels are such a simple way of making so large difference even when woman is sitting. there are other things that heels add to it (the very sound itself, for example), but it’s definitely because most people have certain attraction towards legs and feet in particular. many people have an outright fetish and they fantasize about touching, massaging, tickling or even licking and kissing feet, or sucking toes of another woman.
    if any woman doubts this, she should just hint her husband to massage her feet, and then see what happens. men find it erotic and they believe their women enjoy it as well, but they’re embarrassed to tell it and they pretend that they enjoy oral sex much more. men love penetration, women love gentle touches. any foreplay goes for a woman, not just oral play, because foreplay causes relaxation and arousal which are necessary for women in most occasions, especially planned, cyclic sex in marriage. to get an orgasm for a man is easy, especially in their 20s and 30s – it’s penetration. to get an orgasm for a woman is harder, it usually requires foreplay and mental preparation and then it requires rubbing (clitoral orgasm), or shallow penetration NOT deep penetration (vaginal orgasm), to induce it. this is why women generally don’t care if it’s 5 or even 10 inches length as long as it does the job, unlike men who are obsessed with it.
    written by sexologist.


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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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