The wide angle of the leg-splay may indicate a moderate to large sized penis that makes the subject unable to close his legs

Manspreading deservedly continues to earn a bad rep among the masses, particularly subway riders, but a new study suggests that it’s actually appealing. Word?

U.C. Berkeley’s Tanya Vacharkulksemsuk is the author of a paper in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, for which a team of researchers looked into the effects of body language on perceived attractiveness.

One study involved analyzing video of 144 speed-daters and how they rated each other. For another study, photos of people in various “open and closed postures” were shared on a dating site to see which images would attract the most users.

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They concluded that people are drawn to manspreading postures—possibly because the pose suggests dominance—and that men who splay out and peacock their crotch get more play.

The Atlantic reports:

People who sat in expanded postures were deemed more attractive, and for both men and women, postural expansiveness nearly doubled their chances of getting a “yes” response to a second date. Even laughing and smiling didn’t work as well as spreading out, Vacharkulksemsuk found.

And:

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...Those in the expansive postures were about 25 percent more likely to generate interest from another user. However, this strategy worked much better for men than women. Men, overall, received far fewer bites than women did, but 87 percent of their “yesses” came in response to an open posture. For women, meanwhile, 53 percent of “yes” responses came when they were in an expansive posture.

There are some skeptics about this study. Notre Dame anthropology professor Agustín Fuentes told The Atlantic, “The connection to mating/dating assessment they suggest is superficial.”

Vacharkulksemsuk, of course, feels it could be a boon for women.

For decades, women have been told they’re most attractive when they’re demure, high-pitched, and generally non-threatening. This data “may be signifying a change in what men are looking for in women,” she said. Perhaps commuters should brace themselves for the rise of fem-spreading.

If you’re sexy and you know it, then manspread.


Image via Getty