2008 volume 37(7) pages 1079 – 1085
doi:10.1068/p5715

Cite as:
Pawlowski B, Sorokowski P, 2008, "Men’s attraction to women’s bodies changes seasonally" Perception 37(7) 1079 – 1085

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Men’s attraction to women’s bodies changes seasonally

Bogusław Pawlowski, Piotr Sorokowski

Received 31 October 2006, in revised form 9 November 2007

Abstract. Humans exhibit seasonal variation in hormone levels, behaviour, and perception. Here we show that men’s assessments of women’s attractiveness change also seasonally. In five seasons (from winter 2004 to winter 2005) 114 heterosexual men were asked to assess the attractiveness of the same stimuli: photos of a female with three different waist-to-hip ratios; photos of female breasts, and photos of average-looking faces of young women. For each season, the scores given to the stimuli of the same category (body shape, breast, and face) were combined. Friedman’s test revealed significant changes for body shape and breast attractiveness assessments across the seasons, but no changes for face ratings. The highest scores for attractiveness were given in winter and the lowest in summer. We suggest that the observed seasonality is related to the well-known ‘contrast effect’. More frequent exposure to women’s bodies in warmer seasons might increase men’s attractiveness criteria for women’s body shape and breasts.

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