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How often men approach women in relation to the size of their breasts

The results of this study should not be surprising, and one might think it remarkable that some researcher would spend time documenting this, but hard evidence that feminists have been unfairly blaming patriarchy, yet again, is welcome.

This is a French study.  Nicolas Gueguen(1, pdf) selected a 20-year-old woman that was rated as having average physical attractiveness by 15 young men.  She weighed 123.45 pounds at a height of 5-foot-6, had a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.71 and A-cup breasts.  With the help of padding, her bust could be increased to a B-cup (average for young French women) and a C-cup.  Her task was to be in a nightclub and the pavement area of a bar on separate occasions with different bust sizes and in the same clothing each time.  Her clothes comprised of jeans, light-colored sneakers and a white figure-hugging sweatshirt that highlighted her bust.  She was instructed not to gaze at or to smile at men in the nightclub or in the bar, and her behavior was similar across the trials.  The number of men who approached her was recorded (Table 1).

Table 1. Number of men’s approaches according to the experimental bust-size conditions.


Number of times approached by men

Bra cup size




Experiment 1 – Nightclub (3 one-hour observation periods in each experimental condition)




Experiment 2 – Pavement area of a bar (7 one-hour observation periods in each experimental condition)




So when many women desire larger breasts and sometimes get breast implants, is patriarchy to blame or is it that women realize what would work to their advantage, i.e., the greater the number of men who approach them, the more selective they can be?

The results of this study are consistent with expectation and some other studies, but Gueguen cited one study where men rated women’s bodies in side view and found smaller breasts more appealing.  This may have resulted from the sampling.  For instance, the larger breasts could be excessively large or if the women with larger breasts in this study had sagging breasts, then it is understandable that men would prefer smaller and perkier breasts.  I will look up this study and comment later.  At least in the present study, since the increased bust size was achieved via padding, there was no sag for sure and a C-cup is not very large (In English women, a C-cup is the average bra size). 

As a side note, Nicolas Gueguen mentioned, “A WHR of 0.70 seems to be the best value for high attractiveness (Singh, 2002),” but it has been discussed before that this is not true.


  1. Gueguen, N., Women's bust size and men's courtship solicitation, Body Image, 4, 386 (2007), doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2007.06.006.


you're so full of shit

It's goodluck for that girl that she has a lovely tiny breasts and could be attacted by the prince or some successfull bussiness man and all classy gentle men, than to be a whore with big sack breasts whom can be only a partner for half nights of some bastards in a Nightclub.

Hey Erik, here are a couple beauty-related things to check out:

Machine judging of facial attractiveness:

Composite photos from hot or not:

Methodology described here:

Notice that the composite of the 10s looks feminine enough that one of the comments stereotypes her as talking on a cell phone all day and loving to shop (mouse over for the comments).

Yep (otherwise going as Zonneschijn and other names): You must stick to using a single name.

Hugh Ristik: Thank you for your suggestions. I have already addressed and critiqued the study on machines judging human beauty. I had seen the “hot or not” composite images, but the find is similar to some published studies that I have addressed, and I am not much of a fan of generating facial composites in the manner used.

Saw the "controversial" picture of LeBron on Giselle on Vogue. I'm as hetero as they come, but couldn't help being attracted to LeBron more.

Men and women aesthetically prefer women with small breasts?

I got the pdf of the study that reported an aesthetic preference for small women’s breasts in both men and women, but the article does not provide the images that the authors used. However, they mentioned that the silhouettes depicting large breasts were unrealistic.

Here is the study:


Abstract: This study looked at the contribution of breast size and buttock size on ratings of female physical attractiveness in profile. A total of 114 British undergraduates rated 9 silhouettes with 3 varying levels of breast size and 3 levels of buttock size. Results showed significant main effects of breast size (with an overall preference for small breasts) but not of buttock size. Gender of the participants did not have a significant effect on the variables, although there was a significant interaction of breast and buttock size. The findings suggest that variables such as breast size are minor cues of female physical attractiveness.

Furnham, Adrian; Swami, Viren. Perception of female buttocks and breast size in profile. Social Behavior and Personality, 2007;35(1):1-8.

Chances are that the authors’ study images were absurd. They attempt to explain their find in a number of ways, apart from the oddity of the stimuli used. They say:


For example, preferred breast size increased continually from its flat period in the 1920s to the large-breasted ideal of the early 1960s. Since then, preferred breast size has become smaller, although there has been a recent trend towards large-breasted figures in media
appealing to men (Koff & Benevage, 1998).

Furnham and Swami are referring to the 20th century trends above, and they had better read the reason why behind the trend.

They also wrote the following.


The suggestion that there is high variability in preferences for breast size is supported by studies of cosmetic breast surgery. What is notable is the popularity of both breast enlargement and breast reduction. For example, in 1994, American women had over 39,000 breast augmentations, 36,000 breast reductions, and more than 10,000 breast lifts (Grant, 1996). Of course, women may choose augmentation and reduction surgery for different reasons. While most women elect to have breast augmentation primarily for aesthetic purposes, breast reduction is usually performed on women who want to relieve the physical discomfort associated with large breasts (Fallon, 1990). Nevertheless, the relatively comparable frequencies of both augmentations and reductions suggest that, as far as breasts are concerned, both smallness and largeness may be experienced as undesirable or unattractive.

They have cited 12-year-old statistics. In 2007, American women underwent around 350,000 breast augmentation surgeries and about 125,000 breast reduction surgeries. So it appears that augmentation is more popular, but breast reduction is not classified as cosmetic surgery, i.e., for predominantly aesthetic reasons, given the typical purpose, namely, spinal/posture problems associated with large breasts.

Anyway, it is true that breast size by itself is not very important to women’s beauty. There are plenty of very attractive women with very small breasts just as there are plenty of unattractive women with large breasts. But other things being equal, if proper stimuli are used – physiques with a healthy amount of body weight, realistic images – then a central tendency to prefer somewhat above average breasts size should be observed.

Hugh Ristik: I hadn’t closely looked at your reference to the “machine judgment of beauty” study. The one that I have addressed is the previous version, but you cited the new version, which had more measurements and hence a better correlation with human judgment. Anyway, the shortcomings of the previous approach still apply. I will add a description of the new study to where I addressed the previous one from these authors.

I'm 22 years old, I could, if I wanted, walk around with a push up bra and revealing top but I don't... In my experience, It would only attract the lechers and rooters, especially in clubs and bars, I don't want any of them.

Men, if you are the dirty rooting lecher predator kind that uses women and throws them out, the world would be better off without you. I hope you die. Most men are rooters in western society, they just want to root around, a whore to take home for the night. You are very lucky to make a man commit to a relationship even for beautiful feminine attractive women.

Men just want to use women, pick up young teens in bars, watch porn, go to hookers and strippers and the like.
The only men that ever approach me are the rooters and lechers, the dirty STD filled men that have sex with 100's of women. Men always want to use women, they will disguise it however they can, they are a pack of lies. If men are good looking, have a nice car or job, they use women even more esp. the young naive teen girls.

The sexual revolution failed, big time, men spread their perversions like wildfire and jump from one woman to the next like a flee.

If your going to treat me like a whore you can at least pay me. But they don't I get nothing, not even a coffee or a meal.

Men are sh*t a**holes.

It's no wonder so many women go for breast enlargement, they feel more confident and they become more attractive, which increases the chances to find the man of their dreams. We live in a world where everything is possible, it would be a shame not to go for it if you feel like you would need such a procedure. As far as i am concerned, I have been told about some breast augmentation Columbus Ohio, and i might try it in the near future, it would be such a relief for me not to feel bad about being flat chested anymore...

Dear T:

How awful! You mean that strange men make your acquaintance, collect your body, and take you to their homes to make sex? How I feel sorry for you! But perhaps, you could cheer up and have a more benign attitude to men? Perhaps then, they will become more kind. I am well and truly a flat-chested A-cup who cannot even wear a bra other than a sport bra (my boobs are having growth). I have no unwanted attention from men. No surprise. In the past 13 years (in which I have been a woman), the men I have known have all been decent men and even fine gentlemen (ages 30s to 70s). This is my limited experience based upon spending part of each year in Canada (with my parents) and in Thailand (living alone in Bangkok). This will make me sound like a big baby now - but if you can dress modestly and behave politely, you can be handled in a humane manner by others anywhere in the world. I think ?

Hey Erik this isnt related to this post but I cannot find a more appropriate place to ask you. Many spas have added microcurrent facials to their list of services. These are electrical currents which cause muscular contractions to tone the face and make it look younger. However I was wondering if u think this would also make the face look more or less feminine. I have had it done many times and immediately notice fuller lips slightly more prominent cheeks especially in apples higher eyebrows and a more defined jawline. I am curious on your thoughts?

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