Study: Women With Wider Hips Have More Sexual Partners

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 04/29/2014 | 04:45 PM EDT

Researcher finds link between a woman's waist and her social, sexual behavior

Accorinding to one study, there may just be a correlation between a woman's hip size and her sexual behavior...just not in the way you'd think.

A U.K. researcher Colin Hendrie theorizes in a new study that women with wide hips have more sexual partners, and that they are less anxious about giving birth because of their “child-bearing” hips. The study began with the theory, called obstetrical dilemma, which holds that humans sacrificed relative ease of childbirth for standing upright.

According to experts, narrower hips are better for walking, while wider hips are better for birthing; so women's hips strike the balance between the two need. It’s theorized that women with wider hips might subconsciously know that childbirth is less risky for them and be "a lot more relaxed in their social behavior.”


Anthropologists, however, are already casting doubt on Hendrie’s conclusions, citing that limited study population may have skewed the results.

The Huffington Post

Hendrie and his colleagues recruited women between ages 18 and 26 from the University of Leeds and areas nearby. They measured the distance between each woman's iliac crests, the bony protuberances of the hips that can be felt on the front of the body. The women then filled out questionnaires about their sexual histories.

What we found is that women that had narrow hips had fewer sexual partners, and most of those were within the context of a relationship," Hendrie said.

The women with wider hips — more than 14 inches (36 centimeters) across — had the same number of committed sexual partners as the women with narrow hips, but also had more one-night stands and hookups in their past. The findings are detailed in the April issue of the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.


Hendrie also says his conclusions are a strike back against the sexist theory that a woman's hip-to-waist ratio determines her sexual behavior, because men are attracted to the combined small waist and curvy hips. Instead, he proposes that “women are in control of their own destinies” and “gauge their own personal danger from childbirth and adjust their sexual behavior accordingly.”

(Photo: Bartomeu Amengual/Getty Images)

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