The muscular male: A comparison of the physical attractiveness preferences of gay and heterosexual men

Viren Swami*, Martin J. Tovée

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined the association between sexual orientation and the perception of men's physical attractiveness. Twenty-seven heterosexual men and 23 gay men were asked to rate, according to physical attractiveness, a series of images of real men with known body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-chest ratio (WCR). The results showed that the WCR was the primary component of attractiveness ratings for both heterosexual and gay men. However, gay men showed a stronger preference for lower WCRs, indicating a preference for a more developed upper-body build. There were small differences in terms of preference for overall body weight, with both groups preferring an image with a BMI of about 21kg/m2. The findings are discussed in terms of gay culture, which emphasises the importance of muscularity in physical attraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-71
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Men's Health
Volume7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

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