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Physical attraction plays a huge part in dating and sexual encounters and that’s no secret, however what people prefer in a partner varies.
Hence why researchers at the Clemson University embarked on this study.
In order to find out if body size including height and body mass index (BMI) is linked to the number of sexual partners people have, they surveyed over 60 000 men and women in hopes that they could answer some of the most common conceptions about size and sex.
Such as “tall men are believed to have more sexual partners, for example) were partly true.”
Participants were asked to give their height, weight and number of sexual partners, and were then spilt in groups of six ranging from very short to extremely tall.
The BMI was classified by the CDC’S guidelines, which ranged from underweight-less than 18.5 to a gloomy obese- over 40.
The findings revealed that when it came to men, certain stereotypes were upheld- that women find tall men more attractive.
Yet, the shortest men reported the fewest partners, which proved the idea that height is a factor in the dating market.
However, across the rest of the height scope, there was little variation in the number of sexual partners, which researchers found difficult to explain.
Lead author of the study and associate professor in psychology at Chapman University, said that “Research has repeatedly shown that women prefer men who are slightly taller than they are, it is possible that for most women there is a certain minimal threshold of height, after which they will consider a male as a potential sex partner, and thus men above that height will end up with similar numbers of sex partners”; in a press release.
With regards to the BMI of the male participants, researchers found that the men who were in the ‘normal’ to ‘overweight’ range of the spectrum had reported the most sex partners, as opposed to ‘underweight’ or ‘obese’ men.
However, do keep in mind that this “does not necessarily map onto the social perceptions of who is overweight.”
According to Medical Daily, men in middle- BMI ranges could be seen as muscular, athletic and powerful.
Waiting to hear about what the women’s results were? Well it did not reveal much, but what researchers did find out is that ‘the only recognizable correlation was between very short women who had fewer partners when compared to other women, though even this effect size was considered small.’
Researcher stressed that the problem with the study was that it does not actually indicate the number of sexual partners as it’s merely a rough indicator of what appeals to men and women in the dating scene.
Sources: Medical Daily