Physical attractiveness is associated with better health and an increased ability to mate and pass on genes. To analyze what body types women prefer in male bodies, researchers measured eye movements and eye tracking in a group women shown the torsos of different men in this week’s edition of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. All women were shown men who were posed with their back’s to them while eye tracking was measured. Physical attractiveness was rated for each torso by each woman.
Mesomorphs (muscular men) were judged the most attractive, followed by ectomorphs (lean men), and endomorphs (heavy-set men). Visual attention was distributed evenly to the upper and lower back of muscular and lean men. For endomorphs, women looked more at the lower back and waist. These patterns of viewing were evident within the first second that a woman looked at a man’s torso.