Thursday, September 12, 2013

How does penis size influence male attractiveness in humans?

Posted by Anna Nordén















Next week we'll discuss how penis size together with height and body shape influence male attractiveness in humans. One of the authors, Brian Mautz, actually presented the results from this study at the ESEB congress in August this year and it generated a lot of interesting questions and discussion, which I hope we will have as well.

Paper: Penis size interacts with body shape and height to influence male attractiveness

Abstract: Compelling evidence from many animal taxa indicates that male genitalia are often under postcopulatory sexual selection for characteristics that increase a male’s relative fertilization success. There could, however, also be direct precopulatory female mate choice based on male genital traits. Before clothing, the nonretractable human penis would have been conspicuous to potential mates. This observation has generated suggestions that human penis size partly evolved because of female choice. Here we show, based upon female assessment of digitally projected life-size, computer-generated images, that penis size interacts with body shape and height to determine male sexual attractiveness. Positive linear selection was detected for penis size, but the marginal increase in attractiveness eventually declined with greater penis size (i.e., quadratic selection). Penis size had a stronger effect on attractiveness in taller men than in shorter men. There was a similar increase in the positive effect of penis size on attractiveness with a more masculine body shape (i.e., greater shoulder-to-hip ratio). Surprisingly, larger penis size and greater height had almost equivalent positive effects on male attractiveness. Our results support the hypothesis that female mate choice could have driven the evolution of larger penises in humans. More broadly, our results show that precopulatory sexual selection can play a role in the evolution of genital traits.

Tuesday September 17th, 10:30 in Argumentet as usual and I will provide some fika. 
Hope to see you there!

4 comments:

  1. on similar issues, I also recommend this slightl more recent study:

    "Testicular volume is inversely correlated with nurturing-related brain activity in human fathers"

    http://www.pnas.org//content/early/2013/09/04/1305579110.abstract

    Have a nice discussion.

    Fabrice E.

    ReplyDelete
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