Researchers Find a Tenuous Link Between Dudes’ Preference for Big Boobs and Sexist Attitudes

Illustration for article titled Researchers Find a Tenuous Link Between Dudes’ Preference for Big Boobs and Sexist Attitudes

A British study about mens' breast size preferences has yielded a pretty unremarkable insight. Actually, the most unremarkable insight possible — the highly subjective "medium" breast size category received the most survey votes (32.7 percent of them, to be precise). Before we cue a great eye roll for another unremarkable scientific study, however, we should take note of one of the study's collateral findings, that men's preferences for larger breast sizes were "significantly associated with" a greater tendency to have sexist attitudes.


Ars Technica blogger John Timmer points out that the study is really only relevant as a eyebrow-raising curiosity. Researchers Viren Swami and Martin J. Tovée only surveyed white men living in London, so it's pretty impossible to draw any earth-shattering conclusions about breast preferences and sexism. However, the study abstract notes that the results of the survey,

were discussed in relation to feminist theories, which postulate that beauty ideals and practices in contemporary societies serve to maintain the domination of one sex over the other.


Although medium breasts won the breast-size election, the two "large breast" categories ("large" and "very large") received a greater combined percentage from the survey population. When asked about their preferences in light of "feminist theories," men who preferred larger breasts also evinced a "greater tendency to be benevolently sexist, to objectify women, and to be hostile towards women."

So, might it make sense that men who have bought into the impossible beauty ideals perpetuated by mass media would have a greater tendency to be sexist? Since media has commodified the female body since, oh, forever ago, the magic eight ball I use to draw all my most important conclusions says, "Seems likely."

Weird Science ponders the sexism inherent in its favored breast size [Ars Technica]

Image via karen roach/ Shutterstock.

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I'd be hesitant to suggest the media correlation too much here, as the the sizes were self-defined. The problem where people think natural D-cups are 'medium' is more indicative of unrealistic beauty standards.