Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Body Image





First Page


Last Page


DOI of Original Publication



NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Body Image. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Body Image Volume 11, Issue 3, June 2014, Pages 282–289 doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2014.04.003

Anthony E. Coy is now at Anderson University.

Author contributions: A.C. and J. G. designed research; A.C. performed research and analyzed data; M.P. contributed materials; A.C., J. G. and M.P. wrote the paper.

Date of Submission

February 2015


Past research suggests that a lower waist-to-chest ratio (WCR) in men (i.e., narrower waist and broader chest) is viewed as attractive by women. However, little work has directly examined why low WCRs are preferred. The current work merged insights from theory and past research to develop a model examining perceived dominance, fitness, and protection ability as mediators of to WCR-attractiveness relationship. These mediators and their link to both short-term (sexual) and long-term (relational) attractiveness were simultaneously tested by having 151 women rate one of 15 avatars, created from 3D body scans. Men with lower WCR were perceived as more physically dominant, physically fit, and better able to protect loved ones; these characteristics differentially mediated the effect of WCR on short-term, long-term, and general attractiveness ratings. Greater understanding of the judgments women form regarding WCR may yield insights into motivations by men to manipulate their body image.


Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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